Fear and trepidation: I have to change my LinkedIn status!

Original published on 16 August 2016 on LinkedIn.

After 15 years of continuous work, I have taken a sabbatical for seven months.  It has been wonderful and I have very much enjoyed being with my family, traveling and being a home cook extraordinaire. However, the time has come for me to return to work and I find myself gripped with fear and trepidation as I consider where I would like to go in my career and more importantly, what I should list as my LinkedIn status.

In my time away from the industrious world, I have come to realise there are many people who consider unemployment in whatever form it comes about as taboo and even shameful.  For me the decision not to work for the first seven months of 2016 came in part from me, in part from my employer and in part from my family and its increasing demands.

Personally, I feel the time away will make me a more valuable member to my next team.  I am well rested.  I am brimming with ideas.  I am as keen as mustard to get back to work (there is only a certain amount of baking I can handle evidently).

So why do acquaintances and prospective employers tilt their heads ever so slightly when they say “so why did you leave your last position?”.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive to it as I head back into the head space where it is ok to talk unashamedly about how successful you have been and can be (this does not come naturally to me).   And it seems that all my anxiety can be boiled down to the very simple task of changing my LinkedIn profile.

I have read guides.  I have looked at how others manage it.  I have been aggressive and then subtle.  Do I list what I have done in the past or what I hope to do in the future?

After some consideration, I have decided this.  It reflects my future and not my past.  It reflects the strengths I know I have .  It reflects me and the values which I hold dear.  It is my mantra.

Sounds all a bit convoluted and precious but all organisations have mission and vision statements which they broadcast.  Why shouldn’t I?

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