February 27, 2013

The Missing Link(edIn Skillset)

This is the button that LinkedIn has repopulated all over my profile. It's worried for me.
So it came to my attention that I've doing a horrible job of promoting my blog. I mean, why shouldn't I spend more time on something that pays nothing and prevents me from finishing the laundry and parenting my kids?

Rob: Who's the $%#@#$ that gave you this idea?? And where can I find clean underwear? And why is Silas being groomed by the cat?

Meanwhile, I thought I was all savvy with a new Facebook page and a new Twitter account...and then a nice little person pointed out that I wasn't on LinkedIn. LinkedIn? That's like Facebook for boring people with real jobs. People who use words like networking and lunch break and paycheck. People who would commit professional suicide by "connecting" with someone like me on LinkedIn.

But, really, what do I know? (Answer: not much.) So this week I sat down one afternoon and set up a LinkedIn account. Relax - my kids were busy playing with someone else's kid this time. (A kid that I was diligently watching, Shelley.) Occasionally diligently watching. (Like an occasionally diligent hawk, Shelley. Your daughter was totally safe with me. I'm fairly certain. She was here Monday, right?) Hey, when I'm doing volunteer childcare for friends, all bets are off.

So I listed myself as a "Self-Employed Writer" (which is mostly fake because "employed" kind of suggests you actually get paid), and then produced a second job title of "Contributing Writer for Families in the Loop" (which is also kind of fake because it sounds way more important and involved than it actually is).

As I included my (grand total of two) other editing and rhetoric tutoring experiences, I started having hateful thoughts toward LinkedIn for making my "writer" resume look so sad. I thought about adding my years at the bank, but that had nothing to do with writing and everything to do with not using my bachelors in English and art education. (Bitter. Still bitter. Stupid Michigan post-9/11 economy.) I thought about my college jobs of telephone research and 2nd shift telephone ordering and nannying at an ant-infested house with five kids and a weird, grown, live-in brother-in-law who worked 5 hours a week at Blockbuster only to spend the remaining 35 sitting on the couch in the living room and staring at me while I watched his nieces and nephews, and then I had waking nightmares and had to walk away from my computer and get a drink. (A drink of water, Shelley.)

And then I came back, sucked it up, and got to the "Add a few skills you have" section.

First off, anyone putting "MS Word" in this box is a rube. If you included it, go delete it. You're welcome.

Secondly, aside from "MS Word" and "Blogging" (another stupid option), I was having a very hard time thinking of anything that I could claim as "skills."

After I put on earmuffs to drown out the sound of children's crying, I sweated and strained and finally squeezed out the following crappy list.

And then I realized we were going for more of a keyword kind of theme. But I had an even tougher time on this round because if there's one thing I'm not, it's being literarily short-winded. (Not literally, literarily. It's a real word - I Googled it. See? Skills.)

...which is probably the most unprofessional and pointless list of skills ever created on LinkedIn.

So I obnoxiously laughed, erased it all, typed "MS Word" for a brief second, erased that, then just left it blank. And then maybe cried.

Nothing. Nada.

And that, folks, is why you give up all career aspirations in order to become a SAHM. To experience defeat such as this. And to write even more sentence fragments to express such defeat within a questionably funny blog.

I hate you LinkedIn.
1 hour 29 minutes later addendum:
Rob's arguing that he can't stand this post because it looks like I have no skills and he's vehement that I do. (Which is a really, really nice thing to say after the beard chart.) I still argue that a writer's profile has a limited set of skills she could list. Solid sentence variation? Disarming conversational style? Correct subject/verb conjugation? Effective use of a blogging platform? I'm stumped.

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