I have a penchant for writing posts on LinkedIn that result in many people messaging me saying, “what you wrote really spoke to me!” or “your article was EXACTLY what I was thinking and needed to hear!”
It’s flattering to receive compliments like these, but also a little surprising. Personally, spilling the proverbial beans about how I’m feeling is pretty natural. I’ve always fancied myself a “what you see is what you get” kinda guy. But every time I post something that shows a little bit of vulnerability, I realize just how few people feel comfortable doing so. I understand this fear of “putting yourself out there” on the “big bad inter-webs,” but at the same time, our online presence is quickly aligning with our real-world presence, and withholding our true selves from the digital space is just postponing the inevitable.
Over the years, many people have said to me: “how can you put yourself out there like that?” | “what if future employers read this?” | “aren’t you nervous that what you write here will come back to bite you some day?” All of these are valid questions, but I answer each of them the same way: “I am who I am. My experience is my experience. If someone is thinking of hiring me, they are entitled to know as much about me professionally as my closest friends do.”
If I’m going to put my name, facebook/linkedin profile, & resume online, I might as well add a little color that gives people an idea of exactly the kind of human being I am. After all, they’re going to come across my online persona well before they encounter the real me, so why not find ways to entice them to send that e-mail/pick up that phone and call me?
These days, great companies want to hire amazing people who are passionate about furthering the success of the business. They don’t care if you posted on social media about “mistakes made” or “lessons learned.” In fact, they probably appreciate it — it shows a level of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and maturity, which all companies need more of.
At the end of the day, it’s okay to be real. It’s okay to be vulnerable and “show your cards” because not doing so means you might wind up in a situation where you wish you had, and vice-a-versa.
So go forth and speak your mind. Be the real you. Realize that in today’s world, you can’t really hide anything anyways, so you might as well just be fully transparent. I guarantee that a company worth working for will be completely okay with who you are exactly as you are. And if a company doesn’t like what you’ve posted online, you probably weren’t meant to work there anyways.