I’ve been on LinkedIn for almost 10 years now. While I keep my profile updated, I frequently post news articles about the role of anthropology in business and the benefits anthropology can bring to the workplace. These posts not only keep my profile active, but also help promote the discipline of anthropology to a large user community.
I try to post something weekly. I also continually comment on the posts of influencers—whether they are tagged on LinkedIn or whether I believe they are influences due to their posting history. My goal is to evangelize both the discipline of anthropology and the value of qualitative research in the workplace.
One reason I am this active is simple: Anthropology is not often listed as a field of choice in LinkedIn job descriptions. For example, while many companies and organizations see the connection between anthropology and UX, there is still a disparity in the number of UX job descriptions that mention anthropology. A search on LinkedIn for the word “anthropology” produced 2,680 results, while the term “UX” produced 119,645 results (as of March 22, 2022).
Then, if we compare the number of times social and behavioral science disciplines are included in job descriptions, anthropology also falls short:
- anthropology: 2,680 mentions
- sociology: 10,715 mentions
- psychology: 140,336 mentions.
Furthermore, there appears to be a huge void in the areas of Human Resources (HR), Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Company Culture, Business Process Improvement, International Business, and many other areas in which anthropologists would be a great fit. For example, 370,000 jobs mention HR and 26,302 mention DEI.
Yet only 2,680 of the 7,472,516 (or 0.03 percent) total jobs on LinkedIn mention anthropology. While these statistics sound HIGHLY discouraging, there is something we can ALL do.
LinkedIn is the premier career social media site with over 55 million companies advertising jobs and 310 million active users worldwide. Thus, we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the value of anthropology to a vast audience. While a few LinkedIn members with anthropology podcasts, websites, and blogs promote the discipline on LinkedIn, we need EVERYONE to do their part to publicize anthropology’s usefulness and relevance on the LinkedIn platform.
Fortunately, when you post on LinkedIn, your profile remains active and promotes YOU at the same time—as well as the value YOU can bring to any organization. LinkedIn is all about the ability to advertise YOU, and anthropology, to those 55 million organizations. Of course, networking and connecting with key individuals at organizations in which you are interested is important. When those contacts do not understand what anthropology offers to the workplace, they may not understand YOUR value.
Here is what you must do:
- Make a goal to post a news article promoting anthropology at least once per week.
- Comment on other’s posts—especially LinkedIn influencers—to reinforce the contributions anthropologists can and do make in organizational settings.
- Write articles on LinkedIn discussing why anthropology matters to organizational effectiveness, work group interactions, customer experiences, supplier issues and/or to specific jobs.
- Keep your profile updated with your current and latest anthropology-related work.
- If you are already working in an organization, routinely emphasize how the anthropological “toolkit” (e.g., techniques, insider [emic] perspective, systems focus, holistic approach) is essential for decision-makers—from hiring managers to operations specialists to c-suite executives.
- BE BOLD! Set up meetings with key leaders to discuss why anthropology matters and share a PowerPoint presentation showing Anthropology’s value.
- Ask those leaders to include anthropology in job descriptions, guiding them on what jobs should mention anthropology as a qualification.
We cannot be discouraged by the paucity of jobs mentioning or incorporating anthropology as a qualification when we are not promoting the very discipline with which we identify on the largest career social media platform in the world.