How LinkedIn’s trying to normalize job gaps

The increase in career gaps, remote work, and 4-day workweeks showcase a new era of flexibility in the workplace.

Unless you work at The Gap, if you’ve ever taken time between jobs, you’ve likely asked yourself, “What do I do about the gap on my LinkedIn?”

Options include stretching your previous role into your next (AKA lying), leaving the gap unexplained, or calling attention to it explicitly.

According to Protocol, LinkedIn just solved that dilemma with a feature that lets users choose from 13 options to describe a gap.

What are they?

Options include personal reasons like caregiving and bereavement, as well as work reasons like career transitions and layoffs.

LinkedIn already offered “stay-at-home mom” and “stay-at-home dad” as job titles, but the new options validate other reasons to hit the pause button.

The move is also backed by data that shows general sentiment is changing.

  • LinkedIn reported a 39% jump in career gaps in 2020.
  • The company says 79% of hiring managers would hire a candidate with a career gap on their resume.

Though subtle…

… the new feature speaks to a shifting attitude toward workplace flexibility. Other examples include:

  • Remote work: A recent report believes 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by 2023.
  • 4-day workweek: Belgium passed a reform package allowing citizens to choose a 4-day workweek, and a growing list of US companies are trying it out.

At this rate, within a generation or 2, the 40-hour workweek and workplace practices of the 20th century will be relics of the past.

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