It may have been quite some time since you began your course here in Bath and it's that dreaded time of the year when everyone around you is getting jobs, one by one.
You need to land a job as well, so apart from applying to a thousand open roles, you do what everyone is doing - you decide to spruce up your LinkedIn profile; updating your bio, putting up an #OpenToWork banner on your profile picture, sending a bunch of connection requests - the whole works! Having done that, you feel a sense of accomplishment and make the mistake of refreshing your LinkedIn homepage feed.
That is it. That's when it happens.
You're bombarded with an avalanche of "I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as..."! Suddenly it seems like everyone in your LinkedIn connection circle is either getting a new job role or is getting promoted to a higher one. As if that wasn't scary enough, such announcements are showing up on your feed from people you don't even know, just because someone in your connection circle likes it (that's how LinkedIn works!).
Wow. Just... wow. How did this happen? How is everyone getting job offers and you aren't? Are you doing something wrong? Should you start applying to more number of roles than the thousands you are already applying for? Should you change your CV? Should you change your approach? Are you the only one left in your cohort without a job offer? Are you ever going to get a job?
Believe me, I get it. Moments before I started writing this article, I experienced this myself. I experience this every. single. day. Every single time I visit LinkedIn. I had actually thought of writing this article after I had gotten a job offer to give it a "don't you worry, it gets better, if I can get a job, you can too!" spin. But, instead, I am writing it now when I am as clueless as you are, with no offer in my hand.
I am by no means an expert in managing 'LinkedIn Loneliness' as I have named it. But let me share my thought process regarding it and how I deal with it, in hopes of at least some of it helping you as well.
The way I see it is - everyone has their own timeline. No one is ahead of you, you are not behind anyone. If everyone you know has gotten a job offer already and you haven't, it doesn't mean you won't get one tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the week after that. So until that happens, what can you do? I can tell you, but let me warn you - it's not easy.
What you can do is you can be happy in others' happiness. You can cherish their achievements. You can congratulate them and convey to them your genuine best wishes so that they can prosper in their new role. However, do not beat yourself up if this doesn't come naturally to you. Like I said before, 'LinkedIn Loneliness' can get extremely overwhelming and panic-inducing. It is also normal to feel a tinge of envy when you see others achieve what you want - with you being nowhere near accomplishing it. We are all human, after all. What you can try to do is recognize what it is you're feeling and reason with yourself. You will get the job that you want, it is on its way, but does that have to mean you will be bitter till then and keep postponing your happiness till that day arrives? What good will that do? Will you refraining from congratulating them land you a job any faster? What do you expect them to do - not celebrate their milestones? Doesn't seem fair, does it?
Instead, like their posts. Celebrate their posts. Comment how you wish them nothing but happiness, because why not? If you view this from a practical perspective as well, reacting and commenting on a post will increase your visibility as well, which might be beneficial to you. You can be spotted by the right person at the right time and who knows? A job offer may very well land on your lap!
Wishing you all the very best with your career and your journey towards conquering 'LinkedIn Loneliness'. Oh, and when you do land a job and share it on LinkedIn, do not forget to tag me!