Health Issues and Professional Networking

Last week I happened to read an article about mental illness in particular being included as part of a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is social networking for business, marketing yourself as a professional in the workplace.

In times past professional life and personal life were kept completely separate and privacy was treasured.  People today are far more open about their challenges and personal lives than ever before. In the article written by Chelsea Fagan on The Financial Diet there is an excellent point:

We are defined not by what afflicts us, but by what we do with the hand we are dealt. And while we shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed about anything out of our control, it should also not be something that we put at the top of our Who I Am list.

I agree.

Defining ourselves by our limitations only hurts and limits us personally. LinkedIn is specifically about our professional lives, not our personal lives.

If you’re selling a car you don’t lead with the drawbacks and limitations.  You lead with the positive selling points and how well it’s going to serve the needs of the potential buyer.  That’s why you wash the car, right? It doesn’t change it into a different car, but it makes a better impression and gives you time to show what it can do.

Let’s face it, every car (and person) has some rusty spots and could use some repairs, but don’t lead with the dents. You never know what you can accomplish until you try. Give yourself the best chance possible by keeping your problems to yourself until your potential employer decides they like you.

I would really love to hear what experience you’ve had with this, whether you’re in the job market or if you’re in the position of hiring new recruits. What raises a red flag for you with either an individual or a company?  What makes you hesitate to get involved, and why?