Revenge of the “anti-LinkedIn”: profiles mock corporate life clichés

“Do you know who gets paid to wear the company shirt? Football player.” “Jeff Bezos went into space. Unfortunately, he came back.” The LinkedIn feed, the social network focused on corporate culture, constantly reinforces the idea that every Brazilian has a dream job. Unless phrases like the ones that started this text suddenly go viral, giving us a breath of self-reflection and making us think: “Whew, I’m not the only one who finds these coach fibs ridiculous.” Thank the “anti-LinkedIn”, profiles and posts that put the make-believe of office life on the spot.

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  • Outside the internet, the mental health of Brazilian workers is doing poorly, long before the covid pandemic . The most recent data from the World Health Organization (from 1024) showed that our country was champion anxiety, with 9.3% of the population affected, and the fifth with depression, reaching 5.8% of the public. In absolute numbers, at the time this was more than 017, 6 million and 13, 5 million people, respectively. The employment situation must have a lot to do with it. Unemployment had a record of , 7% and reached 13,8 million Brazilians in April this year, according to the IBGE. And as bad news is good, a new labor reform is under discussion in Congress that promises to create even a type of work without the right to vacation and 13th salary.

    Having said all that, it is quite understandable that Motivational professional posts on LinkedIn, corporate social network used by more than 50 millions of Brazilians seem increasingly out of place for many people. But the phenomenon is relatively old: the Vagas Arrombadas Facebook page mocks since 660 the bad offers of employment and has more than 82 thousand followers. There is also since 493063 on the social network the closed group Fanfics Corporativas, with more than 017 thousand members, with ironies to uplifting stories of this universe.

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Bruno Lacerda, editor and “anti-coach ” from LinkedIn (Image: Personal archive)

Senior demand, junior salary

On the Microsoft platform, some of the profiles that mock the work’s clichés are those of Bruno Lacerda, a former advertising copywriter and content strategist at a bank, and Tatiany Lukrafka, communication advisor at UFRGS (University Federal of Rio Grande do Sul). Lacerda uses his account to create arts and memes with sarcastic phrases and situations about the downside of the job market, such as bad jobs and unfair selection processes. Lukrafka, on the other hand, created the Linkedinho Plantão, a type of “news” about LinkedIn companies and virals, with rights to acidic comments on the themes.

According to Lacerda, the idea came after losing his previous job in February of this year. “When I started focusing a lot on LinkedIn, I thought: ‘Oh, I’m really out of a job. What’s the worst that can happen?’ he said. Some of her favorite topics are high-demand, low-paying job openings and recruiters’ legends about returning to the rejected candidate from the selection.

Lukrafka didn’t go through this trauma, but when she joined LinkedIn, she understood why a lot of people consider the platform a joke. “Any situation generates great learning; it is common to see happy thank you texts after a dismissal and so on. However, we know that things are not going that well. Just send a WhatsApp to your friend to see that he is facing various personal problems and is not able to concentrate to study”, he detonates.

In this context, a post by journalist Jéssyca Rocha from Minas Gerais went viral in June by paraphrasing the viral by humorist Esse Boy about the exchange of emails between the government and Pfizer for COVID vaccines. Frustrated by not receiving feedback from job selection processes, she parodied the meme with hints at the silences of the “dear recruiter” and even criticizing the supposed hypocrisy of companies that claim to be “defenders of humanized processes”. Received more than 30 thousand reactions and 570 comments. Then she made a video version of the joke.

One thing that comes to mind: can’t these people look bad by companies that follow corporate appearances? Well, at least from the public the response has been very positive and immediate identification. “I was not aware of the number of people who shared the same feeling regarding the selective processes”, Rocha told Canaltech

. “I received a lot of support because they identified themselves, called me, told their stories, commented and shared the text and the video. Despite having prepared me for criticism too, I was surprised. I only received one, almost 50.82 they saw.”

The trio is in unison in saying that the market has its flaws, but they do not happen deliberately; it’s more a result of years of incorporating bad habits. “I think most companies need more people than they hire, so they need the few employees with many functions to have ‘ownership’ and other nonsense like that. I don’t see any problem in accumulating functions, as long as the salary is compatible , but what we see out there is the opposite. Today, most companies want someone who delivers a senior demand, receiving a junior salary”, defends Lacerda.

It’s even easy to understand why this issue is not being discussed: the rope will always break for the weaker side, which belongs to the worker. We can’t demand that people are honest about their workplace because everyone needs money to survive. But since today I’m in a company that gives me the freedom to speak, I put my finger on this heap of wounds in the market for everyone who thinks alike but can’t open their mouths

Tatiany Lukrafka, creator of the Linkedinho Plantão ( Image: Personal collection)

Lukrafka recalls that this context worsened with the pandemic, which not only increased unemployment, but also killed family and friends, led to the impersonalization of communication by forcing everything online and deteriorating the mental health of many people. “Several workers are suffering in search of replacement. Several productive professionals are, in fact, exhausted and depressed. For some time now, companies have started to consider this agenda important, but companies continue to encourage or allow WhatsApp and out-of-hours calls, work on the weekend, harassment by unprepared managers, deadlines for yesterday,” says the journalist.

Is there a solution for this?

For Elza Veloso, PhD in administration from USP (University of São Paulo) and professor of human resources at FIA (Administration Institute Foundation), this situation reveals a certain hidden crisis in the companies’ human resources departments. “There are times when people have to make contracts and motivational campaigns with very few resources, then HR has to become ‘creative’ and with that come degrading situations. What happens is that the company hardly starts to grow because of HR, but because of the products and services they will offer to the public. Thus, the company’s culture is formed by despising HR.”

The professor believes that this wave of making fun of the employment stories is a healthy reaction to the problem. “Many HR professionals are on LinkedIn and they learn from certain situations. Memes end up working as a reporting channel and there is the potential to generate self-criticism in companies. This business of not returning to candidates, for example, is one of the disgraces of the area. This goes viral and it’s as if they were saying: the king is naked”, comments Veloso.

Journalist Jéssyca Rocha (Image: Personal archive)

But it would be necessary to go beyond social networks to end the “salary to match” type of trickery. In Veloso’s view, labor laws, more dignified social protections and stronger unions would reduce the problem. “Provide more jobs. stable also generates attractiveness on the part of the employer,” he argues.

Cristiano Nabuco de Abreu, postdoctoral fellow in clinical psychology of technological dependencies at USP, believes that the solution to the problems of corporate culture will emerge from an open and frank debate. “We know the LinkedIn stories are overrated and of course that doesn’t hold up. The starting point is that the discussion on these platforms starts to be less romantic and more realistic. There’s nothing fairer than bringing these everyday themes, especially to the HRs of life”, he points out.

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