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LinkedIn: Balancing Career Ambitions and Mental Well-Being

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

Honestly, seeing people around your age doing more or “achieving” more has always been a struggle for me. My mom always wanted me to hang out with the smart kids so maybe their smartness would rub off on me. Little did she know that those kids were just naturally gifted. I, on the other hand, needed to work in order to learn two languages, English and Spanish. I had to go to ESL and speech classes because of my Hispanic accent.

Fast forward a decade and now I’m in college. Besides my history exams on the fridge, I never thought I would be in my 20s absolutely overwhelmed with what accomplishments other people are boasting about on LinkedIn.

I downloaded LinkedIn in November 2023 at a Tony Robbins conference because the man I was networking with told me to get it. I still have him on LinkedIn today and we chat sometimes. It feels like over this past summer, more and more people have joined the website. Seeing my former gifted classmates from high school all the way down to elementary has made it impossible to not feel like I’m not doing enough at school. I watched my former classmates get internships I never thought you could get as a first-year.

LinkedIn is often promoted as a valuable tool for professional advancement, yet one can’t help but question the extent of vain posts one must navigate before reaping tangible career benefits. I, too, find myself succumbing to this tendency, viewing every university opportunity email or volunteering prospect through the lens of a silent, “Oh, great, I can showcase that on my LinkedIn,” while disregarding opportunities that may not neatly enhance my profile. Our university experiences are seamlessly packaged into marketable bubbles, each pleading, “Please hire me, I promise I’ll excel.” For many, LinkedIn becomes a platform akin to more stress. Our feeds transition into a showcase of our professional content and lives.

I had this realization when I looked at Instagram and compared it to LinkedIn. It dawned on me that not everyone showcasing their accomplishments on these platforms may genuinely be happy or appreciative of what they have. It’s crucial to understand that, like other social media, LinkedIn offers a selective and curated glimpse into someone’s life. Even if someone proudly boasts that they’ve landed an internship, there might be untold struggles behind the scenes, moments of tears on the phone with their mom, and instances of making do with discounted sandwiches because the position didn’t come with a paycheck.

Instead of checking LinkedIn all the time, try using it only when you really need to. For example, networking with people from your university who work where you want to apply or updating your profile when you get a new job. Don’t spend too much time scrolling or looking at others out of jealousy on social media. Treat it like any other platform affecting your feelings and limit your use.

Focus on your own goals and applications, away from what everyone else is doing. As long as you are happy with what you are doing and at the end of the night, you can say, “I am glad I accomplished this, that is all that matters!”

Hi, I am Katherine! I've been traveling to Ecuador since I was only a few months old! This made me a travel lover and learn more about other religions, cultures, and beliefs! I am from Long Island, New York. Now studying at University of Scranton as a Business Communication major and Social Media Minor!