Love, Honesty and LinkedIn
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
I do like a spot of Linked-In, especially when I'm looking for work.
When I'm job hunting, I'm glued to the site, deciding which ECD, creative services director or agency owner I can bother next.
When I'm working, I look at it less but I still try and answer emails that pop through; the individual, personalised ones, not the spam where someone sends the equivalent of an all staff email to everyone on the entire platform.
This is in spite of never having ever received any job offers, or even an interview through LinkedIn in over ten years of being a member. Still, I know plenty of people who have and I remain very fond of it. I read posts from my connections and am excited when they read mine and I appreciate the need to maintain a professional presence on the internet outside of a personal website.
But LinkedIn doesn't always tell the truth.
OK, to be more exact, Chas Bayfield on LinkedIn doesn't always tell the truth.
Having technically left JWT in June, my LinkedIn profile told the world that I was still employed there until just a week ago. It seemed more sensible to be connected to an established and respected agency than to change it to the slightly more adrift "available/looking for work/freelance".
In the spirit of honesty, I should have changed my status back in June, or at the very latest, November when my gardening leave ended.
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up some freelance at McGarryBowen.
It's been a blast and the free breakfasts alone make it worth being here.
In a moment of over enthusiasm last week, I changed my status, trading up from JWT to a younger, funkier agency that is genuinely going places. In my exuberance, I forgot to add that all-important word, "freelance", and now my tranche of LinkedIn contacts believe that I am comfortably employed at 22 Torrington Place.
The love that I have received as a result of this status update almost compensates for the guilt I feel at what could be seen as a shameless act of misrepresentation. Friends from University have got in touch. My cousin in Vienna. Tony from Watford College. Possibly even you. It's been amazing to read how happy you all are for me. But from next week, I shall be back on the freelance trail and no doubt bothering a lot of you all over again.
So thanks for the love, and sorry for the fake news. But if you feel in need of a January boost yourselves, my advice is to simply update your LinkedIn profile. You're no longer Mr or Mrs Freelance Available, you just got hired at Adam & Eve! Go you! Droga 5 in New York? I knew you could do it! And regardless of where the physical Chas Bayfield ends up in the near future, his virtual presence might stick around at McGarryBowen for a while longer, enjoying virtual toast and crunchy peanut butter and free bananas.