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You’ve really gotta give it to the guy that created LinkedIn. Here is a social media platform that pretty much no one cares about, no one actually likes, but everyone feels as though they must have an account on because if they don’t they’ll somehow never land another job. Scroll your feed and you’ll see why — it’s full of useless garbage that no one in their right mind is going to read.
Aside from Instagram, if there’s one platform that epitomises the term “self-aggrandisement”, it’s LinkedIn. It started out as a way for people to have an easier time finding work by putting their profile out there and connecting with opportunities, but predictably, it’s ended up less like the business version of Facebook and more like the business version Instagram — chock full of douchey influencers, err, I mean “thought leaders.”
Seriously, the platform has become so insufferable I don’t even look at it anymore. There are many annoying behaviours on LinkedIn that I could spend a lot of time writing about:
- The profile picture of you speaking at some event, bonus points if you're wearing a headset microphone
- The picture of you talking on a panel - ah, if only we could have been there to hear your wisdom!
- The obvious quote that you post thinking that it makes you look deep, when it's really just obvious to anyone with a pulse
- The pictures of you teaching something. Such an expert!
But there’s one behaviour unique to LinkedIn that really takes the cake, and makes the person doing it look utterly self-indulgent and clueless about everyone who lives in the real world.
I’m talking folks, about the announcement post.
The announcement post always comes from someone who's at the senior leadership level of any given company. That’s because for the vast majority of us that constitute the little people in business, if we leave a job, we can generally expect to maybe go out for dinner or drinks with a small group of colleagues that we really get along well with. They’ll toast to you because you’ve probably made their work experience a little bit brighter and they’ll be sad to see you go.
You'll doubtless tell your immediate family and likely have a little celebration if the move is big enough, but that's about it. After that, you change your LinkedIn profile to show you’re in a new position, and that’s generally the extent of what happens when you change jobs in the business world as an employee.
But for some reason, there are senior leaders who clearly live in a reality distortion bubble, because they think themselves and their work so important that they’ll go to the trouble of announcing it on LinkedIn. Oh, it won’t just be a quick sentence either exclaiming that they’ve got a new job and they’re really excited. Lord no. It will be an entire paragraph, of course starting with “I’m pleased to announce…”
Well good lord, please give us a second to drop everything while we listen to this incredibly important piece of news!
They’ll talk about the things they were proud to have done at their previous position and how they’re satisfied they left it better than when they arrived, before saying how excited they are to be moving to some other company where they’ll be doing blah blah blah and how great that is for the future.
If you’re one of these types and you just happen to be reading my little piece, I’ve got some news for you: nobody gives a damn. Getting a new job is something you tell family and close friends about. Announcing it to the entire world on social media in the manner above marks you as a self-important egomaniac who thinks everyone is following every move you make.
While I’m at it, here’s a brilliant, live TV example of what I’m talking about. This just happened in Australia last week. I generally don’t mind Sam Armytage at all, but this was the most self-indulgent tripe I’ve ever listened to. Regular people don’t make tearful announcements where they refer to themselves as “brave” and “fearless” because they know it makes you sound like a jackass. Those are things that other people might say about you if you’re lucky and really deserve it. Regular people also don't start giving their life story and talk about all the things they are going to do now that they are leaving.
Here’s a really hot tip for all of you that have either done one of these LinkedIn posts in the past or are contemplating doing one in the future: if you’re such a titan of industry, a visionary who is changing the world, you don’t need to make any kind of announcement. Other people will do it, and the news around it will be big. You won’t need to proclaim where it is you’re going or what you’re doing, because you’ll get publicly asked about it anyway. Besides, announcements are for product launches or other huge pieces of news, not the fact that you're going to another company.
So if you aren’t on the level where people are actually asking about what's next for you, It might be an idea to keep a dignified silence and just tell those who are close to you that you're moving on. If you must say something on LinkedIn, a simple “excited to be starting my new job at company x” will more than suffice. Resist the urge to roll out all your achievements, tell everyone that you're sad to go, or any one of those other self aggrandising tidbits that literally no one except for you cares about.
The reality is that writing anything more than the fact that you're excited to be starting a new job, and I can guarantee that apart from the sycophants who are just kissing your butt for a future opportunity, you’ll get nothing more than a legion of eye rolls at your grandiosity and self indulgence.