A working mom has become an online hero after she changed her professional LinkedIn profile photo to a picture of herself wearing a comfy sweatshirt while working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lauren Griffiths, a 39-year-old human resources consultant in North Carolina, penned a candid post about why she replaced her glossy headshot with an image herself in a pullover with barely-dried hair, explaining the latter better depicts her new reality.
The mother-of-three’s bold move has not only gone viral, but it has also inspired others, many of whom are also parents, to swap their LinkedIn portraits with more candid photos of themselves.
Keeping it real! Lauren Griffiths, 39, from North Carolina, changed her professional LinkedIn photo to a picture of herself wearing a sweatshirt while working from home
Working mom: The mother-of-three’s new picture shows her makeup-free and smiling from ear to ear while sporting tousled waves and a dark gray pullover
In Lauren’s previous profile picture, she is wearing a sharp black blazer over a striped button-down shirt. Her light blonde hair is cut into a sleek bob, and she has a small smile as she gazes at the camera.
It’s the kind of portrait people are used to seeing on the business and employment-oriented social networking service.
Her new picture shows her makeup-free and smiling from ear to ear while sporting tousled waves and a dark gray pullover.
In her post, titled ‘Why I Changed my LinkedIn Profile Pic,’ she reflected on all the work that went into her original photo while opening up about why she decided to change it.
‘Recently, I took a long hard look at my LinkedIn profile photo — the woman staring back at me had newly highlighted hair and a fresh cut, a pressed blazer, a hint of a smile that showed just the right amount of teeth to let you know she was serious but could be lighthearted when needed,’ she wrote, recalling how she stood in her ‘power pose’ while her husband took the photos.
Honest: In her viral post, Lauren explained that she is not the same person who posed for her professional profile picture in a sharp blazer with newly highlighted hair
New trend: Lauren’s bold move has inspired others, including Jennifer Beuth (pictured), to swap their LinkedIn portraits with more candid photos of themselves
‘We poured through about 80 shots before we found the one that looked perfectly polished. But the person I was exuding then is not always who I am, and certainly, not who I am right now,’ she explained.
‘Today’s remote world has blurred the lines between my professional and personal selves, so I’ve chosen to represent that in my photo. Barely dried hair, comfy pullover, ripped jeans — slightly frazzled from having just gotten three kids ready for “school” — but smiling and ready for work.’
Lauren believes being authentic is far more important than having a perfect photo.
‘I’ve witnessed and read enough on authentic leadership to know that being genuine and vulnerable will get you a lot farther in your career than a glossy headshot,’ she ended her post.
Since she shared it last week, it has received more than 822,000 likes and 28,000 comments, with many praising her for being so honest.
Fresh-faced: ‘On a typical day I now roll to my “office” to catch up on a few emails before heading out for a run and back to Zoom,’ wrote Courtney Kastelic, who swapped her pictures
Say cheese! Will Christy thanked Lauren for the inspiration after he changed his headshot for to a picture of himself with his sonOn a typical day I now roll to my “office” to catch up on a few emails before heading out for a run and back to Zoom. Courtney Kastelic
Making a change: Tanya Ross said her ‘perfectly polished’ headshot doesn’t convey show she is right now
‘There definitely seems to be a movement towards more confidence in professional authenticity,’ Graham Hills wrote. ‘We are all not the sculpted, polished personas we have used previously, we’re so much more and should show our true selves for sure.’
‘Yes!!!!! We need more of this!!!’ Hayley Adams insisted, while Samantha Boyle commented: ‘Love this photo and your post… Thank you for sharing.’
Others who saw Lauren’s photo were motivated to change their own, sharing their before-and-after COVID-19 shots on LinkedIn.
Jennifer Beuth said Lauren’s new picture made her start to question if her profile picture was a true reflection of who she is as a working mom.
‘The old profile picture is artificial and polished. The new profile picture shows me on my way to a client, after I already dressed our two daughters in the morning and brought them to the kindergarten. It was not edited, was taken spontaneously and shows me in the way I am often seen,’ she wrote.
‘I like both pictures, but at the same time I believe that the new picture is more authentic, and that’s exactly what I want to be: authentic.’
Will Christy thanked Lauren for the inspiration after he changed his headshot for to a picture of himself with his son.
‘The last time I was all suited up for work, perfect full Windsor knot, power tie, and not a wrinkle in sight was probably for this picture,’ he wrote of his original profile photo.
All smiles: Petra Krištof thanked Lauren for the inspiration, sharing that she took her new profile picture in her home office
Then and now: ‘Different times call for for a different profile pic,’ Meirav Rosenberg wrote
For everyone: Not all the people who changed their profile photos are parents. Silvia Autuori said she updated her picture simply because Lauren’s message resonated with her
‘As soon as I got the file, before I uploaded it, I was so excited to even edit it just a tiny bit more to make it look even a little more polished. That’s not who I am. Not even close,’ he admitted.
‘In today’s remote world, nobody gives a crap about a headshot. I’ve chosen to represent myself here: Shaves every couple of days, polo shirt and jeans, some sort of mask on / hanging from somewhere, and most importantly one of my two amazing kids that join almost every conference call without fail.
‘Being authentic thankfully has gotten me further on a lot more noisy sales calls recently than my $29 headshot,’ he added.
And not all the people who changed their profile photos are parents. Silvia Autuori said she updated her picture simply because Lauren’s message resonated with her.
‘I cannot share her experience at being a mom, but I can share that feeling at “being genuine and vulnerable,” because this is exactly me right now, working at home and taking care of all my stuff,’ she wrote.
‘Yes, Lauren. I agree. Being like this “will get you a lot farther in your career than a glossy headshot.”‘