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Trying Out Girlboss’ New Professional Network

Last week, I wrote about Girlboss’ new professional network and compared it to LinkedIn based on reports from various sources. This week, I actually signed up for an account and looked through its features to discuss how it measures up to LinkedIn, and what I thought of the platform.

Right off the bat, Girlboss feels very personal. After creating a username, it asks you what you’re good at and what you want to learn to do, and gives you the space to specify both things rather than give you a drop down menu of skills. While this is similar to LinkedIn, it is a lot more flexible since it is set up like a conversation rather than a list of skills. Additionally, being asked “What do you want to learn more about?” actually made me look critically at what skills I lack that could really benefit me, in school or in my future career.

After setting up a profile and uploading a profile picture, I was in the network where I was brought to a page full of other members. A striking difference from LinkedIn was the type of profile pictures I saw. They tended to be more similar to social media profile pictures, with very few women dressed in professional attire. For example, one profile picture was of a woman kissing her baby on the forehead, which fit incredibly well with the vibe the site is going for: a diverse array of women all working to reach their goals.

Originally, I thought the site was aimed at entrepreneurs and bloggers, but I actually saw people in all kinds of industries - retail, business, fashion, education, etc. I saw other students, too. However, it did seem to be a theme that people wanted to connect to entrepreneurs, and a lot of the jobs held by members

Besides the members, Girlboss also has a “community” page that looks more like a typical social media feed than LinkedIn’s home page. Off to one side there is a widely varying array of different feeds which mix career related terms such as marketing, offers, and asks, with more community building ones, such as self-care and collabs. Members on these feed were also discussing diverse topics, from asking for business advice to asking for options for stylish bags.

Overall, Girlboss delivers its apparent aim: a community of women seeking to advance their career goals through empowerment of one another. As college students, however, I’m not sure it delivers exactly what we need. I looked through “offers,” hoping to see internships or summer jobs, and while they were there, they were aimed at more freelance-style jobs, although I did find a non-profit offer. Despite this, I don’t think this means it’s not worth signing up for! I predict that as the site grows, a more diverse offering of opportunities will be available, especially if more women in positions of power start using it to recruit. The idea is promising, especially because it emphasizes community over just building a perfect profile. However, if you’re a writer, blogger, or seeking to do freelance work,  it could be a great alternative to LinkedIn as the community is smaller and less overwhelming in terms of applying for jobs.

I recommend you try the site for yourself and explore what it has to offer. I haven’t explored the whole site, and there could be a lot of opportunities I didn’t find! If anything, it might let you connect with members of the community you otherwise wouldn’t know about and learn something new in the process!

I am a sophomore at JHU majoring in international studies and history.
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