Sometimes we make different decisions without even meaning to and stumble upon an idea that’s not so common. After getting this message, that’s what happened to me.
“When are you going to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your new job?”
Me: “I’m not.”
It seemed weird for a self-confessed LinkedIn addict to say that and it was unintentional. This idea goes against all career advice and traditional conventions about creating an online presence.
Here’s why you may not want to update your LinkedIn profile.
Free promotion for your employer
When you update your LinkedIn profile with your job and effectively tag your employer by doing so, you’re endorsing them.
Here’s the thing: When you join a new company, you don’t know if their mission is pure or if they are the real deal. You could have done all the research and then still discover that the company is not what it seems from the outside.
Updating your LinkedIn profile is giving a company the thumbs up and you may not be ready to do that just yet or feel it’s your duty.
Failing in the first 6 months
Most employment laws around the world these days allows for a six month probation period. When you update your LinkedIn profile, you don’t know if you’ll still be at the company in six months. For all you know, you will part ways with your employer.
Updating your LinkedIn profile means that if you fail, it’s going to come up in your career history on LinkedIn.
For me personally, I don’t care and am happy to show people my career failures and setbacks (I’ve made a career out of it). But for some of you, you may not want the whole world knowing if you don’t make it through probation.
The focus of your career
Your LinkedIn profile tells someone a lot about you. For me, I don’t want to confuse people by trying to be too many things to too many people.
I have chosen (for now) to make my LinkedIn profile about my writing career only and not have any connection to my day job. This allows people to discover the writer Tim and not the sales version of Tim that you see during business hours.
Many of you have a typical career and work that you do outside of your normal job. Perhaps you might want to highlight that work instead rather than your employer. The choice is yours.
Your employer can dictate what you say
When you tag a company as your employer, from that day forth, everything you say and do on LinkedIn can be curated by that company.
If you say something that you really believe in and the company you work for see it, they can legitimately ask you to take it down — which is fair enough.
Adding your employer affects what you can say on LinkedIn, so it’s worth considering that.
People are not clicking your profile
LinkedIn used to be a resume platform and that has changed a lot. The days of people clicking your profile to see your online resume are long gone. Your profile is still looked at, but just not as much as you think.
People are spending more time on LinkedIn looking at what content you post, the comments you leave, and what posts you hit the like button on.
If you’re updating your LinkedIn profile like your career depends on it, it doesn’t matter — not anymore, anyway.
The need for privacy
In some areas of my life, I like to be private (you might be the same).
The career situation this year has been a tough one for me and having my LinkedIn profile updated can cause people to treat my circumstances like a reality TV show waiting for the next episode.
It’s nice to know that not everyone knows what I’m up to in my career.
Customers learn something about you
Now that my LinkedIn profile is solely focused on my writing career, it makes the clients I deal with curious.
When they look me up on LinkedIn, they see a different person to one they interact with. There’s this whole other side that they get to discover and so far, this has brought me closer with clients.
Using your LinkedIn profile to promote your hobby or side-hustle can help your clients see a different side of you that, in my case, has been really good for business.
A writer who is writing their dreams into reality is an interesting narrative for many of the customers I interact with. Maybe the same is true for you.
Just because everybody tells you to update your LinkedIn profile like it’s some trophy-winning contest, it doesn’t mean you should or you must.
Learning to sit back sometimes and take no action to see what transpires is an interesting activity. In my case, holding back from updating my LinkedIn profile led me to the realization that I’m not going to update it at all.
Your LinkedIn profile is owned by you and you can use it how you see fit, to make your goals in life come true and perhaps inspire a few people in the process who can learn from you.
You don’t have to update your LinkedIn profile.