The best part of working in digital media is using social networks for anything but their intended purpose. And there’s no better way to disrupt a social feed than doing it on a site dedicated to white collar professionalism.
A few years ago, LinkedIn introduced endorsements – a terrible way to improve someone’s workplace credibility. Endorsements sounded great, but LinkedIn prompted users to endorse their connections every time they checked out their LinkedIn feed. The inexplicable pimping of the endorsement feature ruined the sincerity of actual endorsements making each of them useless.
I’m one of the many millions of LinkedIn users whose profile is home to hundreds or more endorsements for vague skills like YouTube. YouTube isn’t even a skill. But I’ll let that slide. The real issue is that my endorsements for YouTube come from a priest, the food service director from my high school and two recruiters I’ve never met.
During March Madness this past spring, I caught a few games with my friend and his cousin whom I had not previously met. We spent about two hours together and shared a plate of nachos. They were delicious pulled pork nachos and I know a thing or two about delicious nachos. But when my friend’s cousin added me on LinkedIn, he didn’t endorse me for delicious nachos, he endorsed me for social media.
I quickly went to LinkedIn and tried to endorse my friends for their real skills. But in true LinkedIn fashion – the significant endorsements are missing. LinkedIn users cannot currently endorse each other for nachos, fantasy NASCAR or patriotism but they can endorse each other for roller skating.
I find this hilarious because a site that embodies the stuffy corporate culture of the American workplace has such poor safeguards, you can let everyone know that your colleague is whiz on the roller rink.
I’m not suggesting you endorse your current or former co-workers for non-business accomplishments as I just did (sorry Kyle), but there are a number of amazing, funny and somewhat controversial things you can endorse them for.
Dog Walking – There’s a very successful dog walker out there somewhere cursing my name. But there are a lot more connections that aren’t dog walkers and imagine their surprise when they see this joke on their page.
Cat Herding – Probably a real thing somewhere, but not in any universe I’ve been to. Much better suited to describe the office cat lady. If the person is really, I mean really into cats – they might actually thank you. Other animals you can endorse people for: goats, tigers and ducks.
Animal Husbandry – Unfortunately this is not the practice of making husbands out of animals but your connections aren’t smart enough to know this. Endorse them for this anyway. Not ready to suggest your friends should marry animals? Equine massage is a nice gateway skill.
Butter, Corn, Salads and other foods – There’s nothing inherently funny about butter until you remember that some poor LinkedIn programmer had to add this into the database. It’s even funnier when you consider there is some super-serious butter commodity trader who is probably KILLING it online with his dairy endorsements.
Roller Skating – As previously stated, promoting this skill on LinkedIn says “I’m a professional, but I also like to exercise like its 1975.”
Blackberry – Possibly the most underhanded skill you can offer someone, despite it not actually being a skill. In fact, most of these aren’t skills.
Lunch – Finally, a skill we can all agree with. In fact, I might put this on my resume.