Where do we draw the line between personal and professional?
The workforce is undergoing major remodelling. Like me, you might have noticed this newfangled trend in the professional world. On the whole, employers and employees alike have started to get personal.
I first noticed this trend on LinkedIn when I began to look for jobs, where people were sharing stories about everything under the sun. It seemed to me that the idea of ‘influencers’ had been copy+pasted from other social media platforms to LinkedIn.
But that was just a shallow assumption. Even people who did not have ‘influencer’ ambitions were sharing their experiences about university, failed job interviews, hiring coups, and even their struggles.
Importing Social Media To The Workplace
Social media, and now job sites, are driven by specific factors: the need to be ‘out there’, and the desire to be memorable.
But what was once the stronghold of networks like Facebook and Instagram has now become a norm across the world of social media. Job platforms are not far behind. By posting (experiences, ideas, opinions, successes, failures, et al), people want to drive a point home. What’s the point? Behind the label of employee is a person, and that person has a life that exists beyond their working habits and abilities.
Showcasing the personal life, which was once considered an unprofessional trait, highlights something extremely significant and positive in the 21st century careerscape. It shows that our professional life does not shadow or personal life, or vice versa. When you have a career, your personal life will be interwoven regardless of your intentions. So employers and employees are making the most of these cultural shifts.
Both the personal and the professional bolster each other, and are better when invested in together than being isolated.
By bringing in choice portions of the non-professional social media experience makes this intertwined lifestyle accessible to more people, especially in industries like technology and content.
What Not To Take From Social Media For Your Professional Life
1. Don’t be afraid to share your successes: The idea that being proud of yourself is an act of vanity is passe. Be confident in sharing your successes, and be just as forthright when it comes to definitive failures. Your career is not a linear graph, and there will be ups and downs. Both employers and employees want to know that you can fail forward, and overcome the obstacles that come your way.
2. Don’t pander: Avoid twisting the truth, trying to appear holier-than-thou, and churning out stories with morals just to look good. You will fall flat on your face if you try too hard. Being natural on social media is hard, because we are all trying to put our best foot forward. But your best foot is the most authentic representation of yourself, not the one which sounds good.
3. Don’t be cringe-inducing: Trying to act too smart always ends with looking really silly. Nothing has the power to make prospects disappear like ‘cringe’ does. When you leave a grimace on someone’s face, they will not be interested in hiring or being hired by you. Vacation photos, emotional stories about your cab ride, and harassment (which obviously goes a few thousand steps ahead of cringe) are all off-limits!
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The 21st Century Workplace Is Different
Here is what I have understood after spending some time lurking around on LinkedIn.
This evolution isn’t just about boasting. It is about appearing (and I stand by this term!) human. Our notions about working have undergone a massive revamp over the last decade. With the growth of startups and entrepreneur culture, employers are no longer looking to hire people based only on their resumes.
Without standardised resume testing, startups and new-age workplaces are looking for that X factor—individuality.
Personality matters, and we are being encouraged to express our individuality and unique traits. What we bring to the table goes beyond our skills. Took a maternity break? They’d rather you talk about it! Struggling to find your niche? They want to know your journey.
With the workplace changing, employability factors are changing as well, and LinkedIn influencers are just driving the trend of sharing. People no longer want boring jobs. They want to enjoy their work, and in order to enjoy something, it needs to be compatible with our personalities.
The end result? Employers are now leading with non-universalisms, and avoiding the cliched ‘strength-weakness’ dialogue which precedes that coveted offer letter. This attracts potential employees, because who doesn’t want a fun, quirky professional life to match our fun, quirky lives!
As potential employees, we are catching up too!
Why Kool Kanya Is The Workforce Of The Future
At Kool Kanya, we understand the power of vulnerability at the workplace.
We are well-aware of the power it has to impact our work (in positive and negative ways), and we are always trying to incorporate it into our professional attitudes.
By investing in vulnerability, we are:
1. Empowering the individual.
2. Making teamwork cohesive and streamlined.
3. Creating opportunities for better relationships with work and workers.
We know that likeability is a trap, and that vulnerability means having the courage to share our good and bad, so that we can maximise the former and mitigate the latter. When you become a part of the Kool Kanya community, these are the values we promote and encourage among our members.
We want to empower women to build careers they love, and by creating spaces where they can share their journeys, plot their successes, and achieve catharsis for their setbacks.
Most importantly, Kool Kanya wants to embolden every woman to mine and celebrate their individual superpowers.
This can only come about when we share. So let’s share together.
As a content creator, a lot of who I am as a person trickles into my work, which means that my journey is free for all to discover, consume, and relate to. I am proud of my jagged career path, unashamed of the occasional misfortune, and open to sharing how I got to this place in my life.
What is your story? Share with us in the comments!