As I was seeking new career opportunities last year, LinkedIn became my social media obsession. While the job search is over (for now), I still visit LinkedIn daily. It’s a tremendous source of wonderful content, insights and connections – and in many ways it’s the most useful social media platform during this phase of my life.
Sure, I enjoy my Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, but I often find myself losing valuable time as I sift and sort and scroll. With LinkedIn, I generally feel the time I invest serves a purpose and gives me knowledge I can use for work. I’ve been on LinkedIn since it launched, and I’m guessing I’ll leverage it for many years to come. It just makes sense for me as a professional.
But how do you manage LinkedIn if you off-ramp? If you elect to quit the career and stay home, do you keep the profile up? How do you brand yourself? What does that initial statement or job title say to the rest of the world?
As I was scrolling through some of my contacts this week, I noticed one of my former colleagues, who off-ramped eight years ago, had labeled her title as “Full-Time Mom.”
Through the years, I had seen some people use descriptions like homemaker, retired, PTA President or active volunteer, but never “Full-Time Mom.”
For some reason that description stuck out to me on LinkedIn, and it felt misplaced. It also felt like a dig.
I’m sure I’m being an over-sensitive working mom, but when this person branded herself as “Full-Time Mom,” I felt like it implied those who are not staying home are not full-time moms.
Yes, I work in an office and hold down a full-time career, but I don’t think of myself as a part-time mom because of my professional commitments. Nope, I’m totally a full-time mom. My kids will always be a piece of me. I’m always their mom. Even when I’m in the office, I’m their mom. Even when I hit the gym, I’m their mom. Even when I go on a business trip, I’m their mom. I’m their mom in the morning, at lunch, in the evening and in the middle of the night. I’m 100 percent their mom, and always on the parenting clock.
I mean, wouldn’t you say all moms are full-time moms? Career or no career doesn’t translate into parenthood.
I’m sure this former contact jotted this title down with little thought. She likely thought as a stay-at-home, it the most appropriate title to note.
But if I found myself in a similar situation, I think I would use a different phrase for LinkedIn. For one, I think I would always have outside pursuits – like consulting or writing or volunteering – and those all feel more in-synch with what LinkedIn represents. I also believe my parenthood status is irrelevant on this particular platform. Unless your business is devoted to parenthood or you’re a parenting blogger, I would say the title of mom or dad does not need to be disclosed. Keep that for Facebook and Instagram and onward.
LinkedIn serves a different purpose, in my opinion.
I will always be a full-time mom, and the three kids who need to know that message aren’t on LinkedIn … yet.