LinkedIn is a tool that has made job searching and creating a professional network a lot easier, but it also has created a lot more stress. We tend to only think about our LinkedIn when we’re unhappy at work which means we tend to only pay attention to it or update it when we’re starting to think about leaving our current jobs. The fear of someone noticing our updated LinkedIn means we don’t do it often enough because we tend to see it (incorrectly) as a red flag or warning sign to the bosses of the world who might think we’re flight-risks.
The truth is, we should all be updating our LinkedIn consistently. First, because it means you won’t set off any red flags if you are consistently keeping your profile up to date, and second because keeping your LinkedIn up to date is an important aspect in your professional development. While most of us know this, the problem is that we often don’t follow this advice because of the fear of retribution or fear from a boss. If you’re concerned about your boss’s response, keep these things in mind:
LinkedIn is a free learning tool
Maintaining an up-to-date profile means you can connect with professional counterparts on LinkedIn and learn from each other. These connections allow you to bring new perspectives to your company and team. Innovation can be difficult in a closed circuit like an organization and LinkedIn can be an important tool in helping you bring new ideas to reach important goals.
It can benefit your company
If you’re in a client-facing or hiring role, it’s important for people to have up-to-date information on you so they can find a way to connect. Having that information on LinkedIn reflects an expectation that your company is transparent and values connection. Additionally, by updating your profile as you grow in your role, candidates who are interested in your company will see the opportunity for growth and support you provide your employees. Having employees actively participate in their company’s brand online sends an important message about a company’s culture.
It doesn’t mean you’re unhappy
Updating your profile does not mean you’re unhappy in your current role, and you should share that with your boss. If they do notice an update on your LinkedIn and it sparks a conversation, don’t shy away from it! Perhaps it will open more opportunities for you to continue your professional development.
The bottom line is, if your boss really does freak out over a few LinkedIn updates, this may prompt a conversation that you needed to have anyway. LinkedIn is an important tool — both for personal professional development and for the growth of each company and team we are a part of — and we all need to be using it to manage our careers.
P.S: Make life easier on yourself and set your LinkedIn profile up to not update your contacts every time you tweak it. Wondering how? Here you go.

Nora Philbin

Nora is a co-founder of Happy Spectacular, which she still can't really believe, and she's on a lifelong quest for the world's best cheeseburger (applicants accepted).