How to Use Professional Networking Platforms Without Feeling Pressured

Have you ever compared your CV to that of someone else? Then, this post is for you. I’ll provide you with two key things to remember in order for you to use professional networking platforms without feeling pressured.

Ever since the rise of career networks such as LinkedIn and Xing, CVs of millions people all around the world have become available to us. These platforms offer the possibility to chronicle everything from university subjects, to internship placements, additional qualifications and job descriptions.

This is great because it gives us the opportunity to look for role models. Women or men who have achieved something that we also strive for. Be it a woman who has become the CEO of a company at a very young age, or someone who has managed to balance being a full-time student while amassing tons of additional qualifications.

How to make use of professional networking platforms without feeling pressured.
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How to make use of professional networking platforms without feeling pressured.

However, comparisons that started out as motivation can easily turn into pressure. We begin to question our own career path, we start to calculate and we realize that we might only be two years younger than someone who has now been in a senior position for three years. We might question whether or not we can even become the female CEO of the exact same company because our CV doesn’t match that of the woman mentioned above. 

These kinds of thoughts can create immense pressure and they can lead to self doubt and negativity when it comes to one’s own career path. So here are two suggestions for thought that might make you reconsider your view on role models:

1. A role model is just a model

Per definition a model is a representation of something that is an extremely good example of its type. The model is often much smaller than the object it represents. This is very important because it shows that any CV that you see on the major career networking platforms is just a teeny tiny extract of all that person has actually done.

Any role model you have is just an example of what you can achieve. The female CEO is a representation that stands for everything that you can become. It does not mean that your career path has to match that of another person. Instead, you can view someone else’s CV as a guide to success that can be altered or simply as motivation to reach an equivalent goal of your own.

2. A role model is not the end goal

People often tell us to map out our career path and start making a decisive career plan early. For that purpose, it’s great to look for inspiring career paths online. Sure, having an end goal or a vision for life is great, but it can also be limiting. Yes, attaining the highest rank in a company, or getting the senior position you have always dreamed of is amazing, but it does not have to mean reaching the final step of your career.

There is so much more: additional qualifications, new challenges, dual degrees, etc. Why not become a female CEO with a dual degree? Why not become a senior team leader who manages to perfectly balance work and free time? Why not start a company and write a book about it?

How to make use of professional networking platforms without feeling pressured.
Photo by Christina Morillo on

A role model should motivate us to exceed its example.

What do you think about having role models? Whose career path do you admire? Let us know in the comments!

By the way, if you’re about to start your first job, we have some great blog posts to help you with that! Find out about five great ways to bond with your colleagues remotely here. Learn how to prepare well for any online job interview here. Get tips on how to make friends after moving to a new city here.

See you soon,


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