LinkedIn To Help Members Address Career Gaps
LinkedIn has announced that they will be offering new options to address gaps in employment. The changes help those who had career changes during the pandemic. Even better, it will also help parents and marginalised communities, too. Some of the alterations will include adding new job titles and entries for employment gaps.
Changes Offered By LinkedIn
In particular, the added features will allow users to utilise other employment entries. For example, full-time parents will now be able to add this as a job title. When these changes happen, the member using these descriptions will not have to specify an employer.
This allows those who have spent time away from the paid labour force to reflect the work done in other areas of their life. The moves are said to help level the playing field, for those seeking new careers. It also comes with the benefit of destigmatising the essential work of caregivers.
Professor of social justice at the University of Maryland, Corey Shdaimah, says ‘I think it’s really a welcome inclusion to be able to record any form of caregiving.’ Before going on to point out that these caregiving roles often fall disproportionately on women and women of colour.
How Can These Changes Help?
More often than not, the workforce is seen as being separated into two distinct areas of labour. There are those that refer to paid employment as ‘productive labour’ and then there is ‘reproductive labour’. The latter of which refers to caregiving roles. It is these areas that are often undervalued, under-represented and misunderstood. However, with LinkedIn allowing those doing this work to add their experience as parents, guardians and caregivers, employers can see the value that marginalised workers can bring.
Roughly 3 million women have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic. Sadly, the closure of many schools led women to being pushed out of their career, in order to take up caring responsibilities. Now, 1 in 4 women are considering leaving paid employment entirely, due to personal circumstances – including becoming caregivers.
As well as this, many small businesses have had to close their doors for good. Which makes it harder for others to find work, as competition from other job seekers increases. This drive in job hunting allows employers to offer fewer benefits, including fair pay. This has a knock-on effect of increasing the level of poverty, as well as making it harder to save for gaps in employment, as well as for retirement.
The Changes Have Resonated With Millions
While the long-term solution remains that employers should offer a living wage, as well as governments investing in jobs and job security, the options given by LinkedIn will be a major help. By applying skills learned in caregiving roles, employers will see the benefits of those who have previously been seen as having an ’employment gap’.
Bef Ayenew, director of engineering at LinkedIn, spoke to Fortune about the changes. In her interview, she says “I wholeheartedly agree that we need to normalize employment gaps on the profile to help reframe hiring conversations.”
Be Sure To Utilise The Changes Made By LinkedIn
Some of the latest titles include ‘stay-at-home mum’, ‘stay-at-home dad’ and ‘stay-at-home parent’. So, if you use LinkedIn, and fall under these categories, make sure you update your profile. Also, don’t forget to add the skills and learning that has come with various personal circumstances. “What are the skills that it takes to run your home? Or even juggle part-time work?” Shdaimah said. “These skills are transferable skills anywhere, and they get to count.”
Former employee of Starbucks, Heather Bolen, was one of the most vocal critics regarding stigma through sites like LinkedIn. Now the owner of a start-up, after leaving her previous company to raise her children, her article resonated with millions. However, she is delighted by the changes made at LinkedIn. Specialising in online education, she writes “It’s exciting: There’s the potential for LinkedIn to just normalise the conversation”