LinkedIn Must Die Because We Are More Than Our Job Title
Recently, a school friend asked my daughter, “What does your father do?” he asked.
My daughter said that she had a hard time answering this question and she realized that she wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. And with a worried smile he posed the same question to me: “Daddy, what do you really do?”
In fact, the problem of both your friend and my daughter is not what I do, but my title.
Because neatly respected professions have titles such as “doctor”, “architect”, “engineer”. In corporate life, concrete professional titles are replaced by labels such as “manager” describing your place in the hierarchy or “accountant” describing the function you are subject to.
In fact, my daughter’s friend’s behavior applies to people of all ages. Everyone wonders about each other’s title. Because the title; It carries many clues on issues such as the owner’s education, professional success, financial situation and place in the social hierarchy.
The problem is, I’m a titleless person.
I feel this not only when I have difficulty answering my daughter’s question, but also when I am invited to be a speaker. The proof is that I get confused every time I get asked what they should write as my title in the promotional materials about my speech, and I give a title based on what I’ve been focusing more on at the time.
Because I do a lot of work that I can’t fit into a single title. Let me list it:
1- I am an award-winning book author. Yes, I have 4 books and one of them is an award-winning one.
2- I mentor innovation teams in large companies. Let me not tell you what it means and make you faint now.
3- I’m a podcaster. I have one of the most listened podcasts in Turkey’s business category. Sometimes I share solo, sometimes with guests.
4- I am a novice Youtuber. I prepare videos that focus on technology and investments 3 days a week. I also had a fairly large audience.
5- I am a speaker and trainer. I give talks and offer trainings to institutions in areas such as innovation, customer experience, new technologies and the future.
6- I am an entrepreneur. I currently have two businesses that I started myself. I also mentor entrepreneurs.
7- I am Influencer. I reach tens of thousands of people on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. The people affected by what I’m talking about here are changing their careers, making investments, starting their own businesses.
8- I am a part-time lecturer. Although I took a break this year, I have been offering entrepreneurship courses at Koç University for many years. I also worked at Bilgi University for a while.
9- I am an investor. I have been investing in high-tech companies for many years. For this, I do long researches and sometimes I share my research results. Although I reject it, some perceive my investments as advice.
10-I am a blogger. I am both the founder and co-author of Haddini Aş, Turkey’s largest personal development blog and e-bulletin. I also write content for Medium and more recently Onedio. Thanks to our e-newsletter, my colleagues and I send information and inspiration to thousands of people’s mailboxes every day.
Yes, I do 10 separate jobs. I make money off most of these. I try to do all of these works professionally, and the results I get are good.
But I don’t have a title my child can proudly share.
Worse still, I can’t add all these jobs next to “where I last worked” on my LinkedIn profile. Because LinkedIn is designed for “vertical and linear” careers, not “lateral and messy” careers like mine.
First you work in a company under one title, then you transfer to another hierarchical level, title or company. LinkedIn designers attribute the career journey envisioned in the 19th century industrial revolution to people. They, like most of society, are after your “titles” in a vertical and linear career path, not what you actually do.
However, the economy of creativity that I mentioned in my previous articles and the technological opportunities offered by the 21st century offer people “lateral” and “dispersed” business life opportunities.
By lateral I mean two things.
First, in lateral careers, you get rid of vertical hierarchical relationships and gain the freedom to focus only on what you produce and their customers/users. When I produce in more than 10 areas, the only ones I have to account for are customers and users. Since I’m not pursuing a vertical career, I don’t have a manager to answer for, nor is there a title I’m after.
The second thing I mean by laterality is not to focus on a single function or area. Which I think is a healthier career journey for people who are naturally multifunctional. No one is locked into a single game or a single role in a play as a child. Our childhood is colorful, we pass from game to game, from role to role.
Why should our adulthood be any different? Isn’t it more humane that no one should confine their entire life to the “accountant” or “marketer” professions or the titles of “manager”, and to do new things freely as their new soul desires?
But LinkedIn doesn’t think so.
Because LinkedIn is still a structure that was developed in the 19th century Industrial Revolution and tries to find gear for the huge machines of large companies. He wants your title to be clear. In this way, it is easier to find which gear to replace in huge machines.
Of course, LinkedIn doesn’t like clutter either.
LinkedIn designers want everyone to have a streamlined, trackable, timetable career.
He doesn’t like people like me who do 10 things at the same time, give weight to some of them from time to time, neglect others for a while, or even put them on the shelf if they don’t feel like it. If you don’t believe me, try to share my work on LinkedIn, you won’t even find a suitable field to enter the information.
As a LinkedIn influencer with a large number of followers, I can say that LinkedIn represents everything that is dying in the business world in my eyes. We need new solutions suitable for modern business life, the economy of creativity, and lateral and dispersed careers.
And fortunately such solutions are slowly coming in. In next week’s post I will present you some very interesting examples. Because I believe that the technologies they use affect people’s worldview a lot, I believe that using these technologies instead of LinkedIn will make you more compatible with the new world.