C-Suite Network™

Controlling Your LinkedIn Narrative: A Crucial Element of Self-Care for Executives

Maintaining control over your professional narrative on LinkedIn is not just a strategic move—it’s an essential aspect of self-care. Keeping your profile continuously updated to reflect your current skills, achievements, and career direction can be a powerful way to prepare for life’s unexpected twists, such as layoffs due to mergers or downsizing.

The I-Am-My-Job Myth

One common pitfall is equating our identity solely with our job title. This myth overlooks the importance of our personal business principles and how we see ourselves as solvers of larger problems. It also ignores the many non-job-related roles that are dear to us. When we artificially equate who we are with our current position, we set ourselves up for depression should we lose our job for any reason.

Nearly everyone has experienced job loss at some point in their career. This is often driven by changes in organizational structure and priorities rather than poor job performance. Regardless of the cause, we almost universally begin negative self-talk that undercuts our self-confidence and our ability to communicate effectively about our skills to prospective employers. The more depressed we are by the loss, the less able we are to articulate our self-worth. Job loss creates an urgency to have an effective LinkedIn profile at just the time when we may lack the necessary confidence and strength to do the task justice.

The Value of an Updated LinkedIn Profile

How much more effective it is to fortify one’s LinkedIn profile while actively employed when emotions are not roiling and there is time and space to think about one’s guiding business principles, full skill set, and what truly brings joy to one’s work? A LinkedIn profile is not just for a job search; it is a business development tool that can benefit both you and your current employer. Its purpose is not just to get the next job but to actively attract customers and opportunities, both internal and external.

So, who are you? You are bigger than your current position. You have a history, and if you think about it, you can identify the themes and principles that have guided your job choices along the way. Craft your personal career story for your LinkedIn summary. The 2,600 characters (roughly five paragraphs) that LinkedIn allows for your summary section are important. They allow you to showcase the themes that have shaped your career, your personal operating principles, and the aspects of your career that transcend any one position. Write in the first person—you are telling your own story. When you do so with authenticity, you attract your ideal audience.

A Real-Life Example

Consider the story of an executive I worked with. His LinkedIn profile lacked an “About” section, leaving his job history as a long list of short tenures—each lasting only 12 to 18 months. This frequent job-shifting could be interpreted negatively, especially for someone over 50. I initially thought he might have issues connecting emotionally with colleagues. However, I was completely wrong. This executive was a highly successful turnaround expert. He had a unique talent for staunching the hemorrhage of negative cash flow and improving company culture within a short timeframe. His frequent job changes were a testament to his expertise and the high demand for his skills. Without a well-crafted narrative, anyone reviewing his profile might have misinterpreted his career trajectory as a sequence of failures.

When we don’t take charge of our narrative, others will create one for us—and it may not be accurate or flattering.

Consequences of Being Unprepared

In addition to potentially painful changes in one’s work situation, there may be other consequences of being unprepared that may not even come to an executive’s awareness. Board opportunities not offered, business not referred, opportunities for jobs not proffered, business deals not even discussed—all because the executive’s LinkedIn profile failed to convey their unique value proposition or because competitors did a much better job of conveying theirs. You can’t afford such consequences; being prepared is a business imperative.

Call to Action

Take a moment to review your LinkedIn profile as if you were meeting yourself for the first time. How does it strike you? Does it prepare you for your next career chapter? Does it accurately reflect who you are now? If not, it’s time to invest in your digital brand.

If you need help with this, it’s what I do. Since 2011, I’ve been helping senior executives tell their stories so they can weather the inflection points of their careers, choose their career direction, and attract ideal opportunities.

Taking control of your LinkedIn narrative is a crucial aspect of professional self-care. By keeping your profile updated and reflective of your true professional self, you ensure that you’re always ready for whatever comes your way.

A well-articulated LinkedIn profile won’t shield you from possibly losing your job some day. Some circumstances are beyond your control. But your personal brand—well articulated on LinkedIn—is your best protection against business factors beyond your control. When you know you are and share that with authenticity, finding your next opportunity is so much easier; it might even find you!


Are You Ready to Transform Your Online Presence?

Imagine a LinkedIn profile that actively champions your strengths, achievements, and professional ethos, positioning you as a leader in your field. Now is the time to embrace executive LinkedIn profile optimization, refine your brand, articulate your value, and lead with distinction.

Are you ready to transform your LinkedIn presence and unlock the door to unparalleled professional opportunities?

Schedule your complimentary Executive Discovery Call today to start your journey toward a powerful LinkedIn strategy that attracts your ideal opportunities.

With over a decade of experience, I have guided numerous C-level and senior executives in leveraging LinkedIn for personal and professional growth. As a recognized authority in personal branding for leaders and LinkedIn strategy, I offer the insights and expertise necessary to navigate the complexities of building a standout digital presence.

I am thrilled to share that the Coach Foundation has honored me as one of the Top Executive Coaches in the United States. This recognition signifies a milestone in my journey and underscores my commitment to helping professionals elevate their careers. You can read more about this recognition and other esteemed coaches here.

Since 2011, I’ve been helping senior executives tell their stories so they can navigate career transitions, choose their career direction, and attract ideal opportunities. If you need assistance in crafting a compelling LinkedIn profile that truly reflects your professional journey and aspirations, I am here to help.

Don’t let others define your story. Take charge of your LinkedIn narrative and ensure it works for you. Reach out today to start transforming your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool for career advancement and professional growth.

Carol Kaemmerer

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