Vanity Fair on LinkedIn by Szymon Janiak


The post was originally published in Polish on Szymon’s LinkedIn profile. Szymon kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.

LinkedIn is a fairy-tale vision of a fake career. LinkedIn begins to resemble Instagram. From a platform for exchanging ideas and establishing business contacts, it has transformed into a vanity fair. Everyone has a wonderful career, earns money but doesn’t have time to spend, and now focuses on work-life balance and meditation. In fact, it is not uncommon for such users to lead a sad and repetitive life, and the adopted pose is just an easy way to catch customers with similar aspirations.

Szymon Janiak, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Czysta3.VC

The epitome of the above are internet business pseudo celebrities who have achieved nothing themselves, many have not even tried, but generate deep quotes. They are very active in social media, they create content, write and record. They make their living off broad-spectrum consulting because they don’t know anything specific. The audience is also properly selected – preferably those who don’t allow themselves to ask difficult questions. Why? Because then, before going on a 3-day masterclass or buying a 28-piece series of films, hardly anyone decides to verify. It is assumed that the person is honest and credible, which turns out to be an illusion. For example, someone once gave 5,000 zlotys to a startup and is an author because he runs a blog that hardly anyone reads. It is correct in theory, but that’s not exactly what the followers aspire to. So what is the goal? Selling and tickling vanity – if you can skillfully build your own self-image, you can make a good living from it, but the content of the advice given is often questionable, because it’s just a show.

When talking about experiences, people tend to focus on the positive aspects, and this is what the media narrative requires. Even though in practice the so-called success is an extremely small part of life, the rest is everyday problems that most people face. Routine, fatigue, mistakes, unfinished projects, problems with financial liquidity, – this is what everyday life looks like. It is far from a bed of roses.

It is worthwhile expanding your knowledge and getting inspired by other people’s stories, but in a professional career, the works are much the same as in childhood – we learn best through our own experiences. You can’t achieve success by hearing about other people’s successes. The elements that increase its likelihood are perseverance, motivation, and willingness to learn. It’s better to make 100 wrong decisions yourself than to listen to other people’s perspectives without doing anything. This results in business wisdom and experience,

The business world is not as beautiful as some media paints it. That’s why you need to appreciate your own achievements, because they are often much greater than the people you admire. When building a career – it’s worth being up to date, having mentors, drawing inspiration – but no one can teach us business. Everyone has to do this lesson on their own and do it their own way – we can’t learn that from Linkedin.

The comment section had to add:

I guess it depends on who’s in your contacts and whom you’re following. That is, what kind of bubble you are creating. On my LinkedIn, I have many interesting people and real professionals, because of what I do there are also many psychologists and therapists – very straightforward and wise people, some interesting people whose posts are inspiring or funny for me regardless of the topic, etc.

Maybe it reminds you of Instagram, but it’s worth remembering that it is you who creates your space in the image and likeness of yourself. So what are you creating? What values and qualities do you live in when you see the world around you?

Anna Matuszkiewicz, Mentor at Strefa Bycia

I agree, but on the other hand, is that a bad thing? Or to put it another way: could we expect anything different, since the most important features by which we judge ourselves and others are: the scale of success, proving higher efficiency than other people, and the ability to generate quick wins?

Dariusz Stelengowski, Brand Identity Owner at ING Bank Śląsk

It turned into a vanity fair because that’s what sells best. But the truth always comes out. Sooner or later, customers verify. And people like this make for an excellent wallpaper background for real specialists.

Martyna Krochmal, Co-Owner at DB Broker

It seems to me that it is not so much a matter of Linkedln itself, but the demand of the entire society that loves to live in the bubble of someone’s success, and therefore, this type of content is better assimilated, read, and clicked by pseudo entrepreneurs. Anyway, the same applies to FB or IG and their derivatives, where people are beautiful, smart, rich, only successful, and their recipients just swallow it. Faster or slower, less or more, but they still absorb this type of content, and they want to live like this, too. The truth is that all these platforms are intelligently exploiting our weaknesses to gain popularity and rake in $$$. This is how it works. Bravo to the owners of the above-mentioned platforms for their intelligent use of algorithms, modern digital transformation and excellent expertise at using our complexes, our low self-esteem, our desire to achieve quick fame and nothing but success in our career, our desire to be liked and admired (human vanity that is fashionable today). And about us as a society – let everyone answer for themselves what it means.

Michał Miłkowski, Component Sales Account Manager EMEA at AMD

We are all responsible for how this platform develops. We also have the option to choose who we like, follow, and remove. 

Many of us share our thoughts and knowledge honestly, and even small investments or projects can bring a lot of lessons and insight. The courage to share real experience gives you the opportunity to give feedback and establish relationships.

I’m not judging or rejecting, let’s be understanding with ourselves and others.

Katarzyna Matwiejczuk, Senior Consultant at B3 Consulting Group


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