I’m brilliant. Absolutely smashing, actually. I want you all to be in awe of me and offer me shedloads of amazingly well paid work.
That’s the message I wanted to put across when writing my LinkedIn profile (I keep nearly typing “Linksys” because of the make of my PC’s router. Must stop doing that), but unfortunately I’m absolutely terrible at selling myself, which is probably why creating it was such a nightmare. The other problem was that upon reading other people’s profiles, it became hilariously obvious just how little I’ve achieved in the field I want to end up in. Why on Earth should anyone go to me when there are so many other capable people out there? People with tiny, insignificant advantages like… say… proven track records?
Okay, so I write this blog, I’ve written a novel, I’ve contributed to The Guardian and a few websites, but as far as I can see there are very little in the way of actual measurable achievements to shout about, as opposed to a load of intangibles – certainly not when compared to my peers. The novel’s currently unsold (I’m still waiting on the response to the full requested by the agency in Laaaaandahn, incidentally), and saying that I wrote the first online review of Halo 3 sounds a mite pathetic as a selling point (which is why I haven’t done it), whereas at the time it seemed like a big deal and certainly amassed a crazy amount of hits. It’s telling that the most comprehensive bit of the profile is about my day job, which is the very last thing I want anyone to be contacting me about.
Does anyone actually get offered work through LinkedIn, or does it function as a sort of Facebook for business people for a fortnight before they forget all about it? I’m increasingly seeing my life as a series of missed opportunities, where I fail to grasp the nettle when it’s offered to me and then spend ages remonstrating with myself while doing absolutely nothing about it. But maybe the next few weeks will see everything change. One of the things I absolutely need to work out how to do is to market myself without feeling like a grasping gimp. And since I simply can’t get on the phone to do it because of my stammer (that would be the very definition of an anti-sell), I have to find another way.