Working Through Social Media Discomfort

24 09 2009

An Uncomfortable Figure by DanielMcKernanI approached my first online profile with trepidation, and it went downhill from there. I was afraid of giving up my privacy and embarrassed to put myself “out there” so boldly and for all to see. This wasn’t a resume hardly anyone would see, it was a broadcast document, and the process of creating it made me see myself in a whole new light.

 I want to be available to a wide network of potential clients and employers, so I elected to write a strictly professional LinkedIn profile that does not compromise my personal life. I put up work-related information, and I make it as available as possible. My privacy qualms evaporated. 

As I started writing, I got confronted with the big existential questions- who am I? What do I have to offer? What’s it all about, Alfie? The resume’s accumulation of life’s work didn’t work at all in this format. I saw that this format demands that I show who I really am and what I really have to offer. I’m not two-dimensional after all!

 Over the course of several revisions, I determined key words and taglines –  pithy descriptions of me. I then expanded, but in a succinct manner. As I developed my profile, I become a sleeker, more elegant creature.

 After overcoming the discomforts, I began to have some real fun. I got great feedback from several of the people to whom I linked. I reconnected with long lost work friends, including my first great boss. I got a coveted volunteer position when the recruiter read my LinkedIn profile.

 Online profiles are now an almost living, breathing part of me. They work better when I tend them a few times a week, as I do my garden and my health. They are another avenue of communication and connection with people who are important to me – those I know and those I will meet online.

– Megan A. Bourne

Image Credit: “An Uncomfortable Figure” by Daniel McKernan