INSIDER SCOOP: Master LinkedIn & Network Like a Pro with Guest Expert Callie Schweitzer

Ep: 219

LinkedIn can be one of the most powerful ways to leverage your skills and further your career…IF you know how to use it the right way. 

Not knowing how to truly communicate and engage with the right people on LinkedIn could be holding you back. The key to using this social media platform is really understanding how it works.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake welcomes Callie Schweitzer. She serves as the Head of Community Programs at LinkedIn and has built an impressive career in media and networking. Working her way up after starting with the networking platform in 2020, she also founded The Callie Co., an advisory firm that has worked with FORTUNE 500 brands and top executives. Her resume includes roles with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Vox Media, and Talking Points Memo. Twice included on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Media list, she’s been referred to as “the future of media” by Business Insider and was selected as one of TIME’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds in the World. She serves on the advisory boards of GenHERation, The Startup Girl Foundation, WOMAZE, the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, and the DeepTrust Alliance.

In this episode, you’ll learn the best practices for using LinkedIn to your benefit and how to network like a pro. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how those who succeed in networking, career growth, and thought leadership are using this valuable tool. You’ll learn how to provide real value to your followers, create meaningful connections, and how to embrace the “we before me” mentality.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Defining what ‘having it all’ means to you (9:07)
  • How knowledge exchange really works (12:24)
  • Rule number 1 for using LinkedIn successfully (15:03)
  • How to find the content you want to follow (21:50)
  • LinkedIn tips for job seekers (23:58)
  • An important rule about boundaries (34:30)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. I really became a human doing, not a human being. I was really so trying to optimize for overcoming this fear I had of not being enough.  – Callie Schweitzer
  2. To me, a personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. – Callie Schweitzer
  3. I had all of my worth wrapped up in my job. I gave everything to it. I went through so many cycles of burnout. But I stayed the course out of fear and how much money I was making. I had lack of clarity, not knowing what was the right path for me. This is why I’m so passionate about helping women understand there’s a better way. – Blake
  4. I’ve been able to have it all, but it’s all on my terms and my way. And that may not be ‘all’ for somebody else. And that doesn’t matter because I get the things that I value and at the end of the day, that eventually creates the life that you want. – Blake

Additional Resources: 

Connect with Callie Schweitzer:





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Callie Schweitzer 0:04
I always say I hate the phrase pick your brain. And the reason why is because I think it implies that there’s zero value exchange, which I think is completely wrong. The intern can learn from the CEO, but the CEO can learn from the intern. And so I’m always huge on this idea of get out of the mindset of pick your brain, because you have so much value to bring to the conversation. And one of the things I always say about LinkedIn, that’s a platform of generosity. It’s a place to think we before me. And I think that’s really important when it comes to all social media and also just how you show up in your life. How can you think about the collective, how can you think about the fact that together, we are actually all so much smarter than when we’re alone.

Blake Schofield 1:02
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 1:35
You are in for a treat today. I can’t wait to introduce you to guest expert Callie Schweitzer. She is the Head of Community Programs at LinkedIn, and previously the head of Creator Programs Overseeing Its Creator Accelerator program. She joined LinkedIn in 2020 as a senior editor, leading the editorial coverage of the marketing industry for the platform’s 900+ million global members. Prior to LinkedIn, she founded the Callie Co., an advisory firm that worked with Fortune 500 brands and top executives to increase reach, relevance, and revenue. She was the Chief Content Officer at Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, she held senior leadership positions working across editorial audience and marketing and revenue at Time, Vox Media, and Talking Points Memo. She’s been widely recognized for her impact, including being named twice to Forbes 30 under 30 media list. She’s been referred to as the future of media by Business Insider. She was selected as one of times 140 Best Twitter feeds in the world. Pure Wow actually named her as the 20 Something who is already a media mogul. And in 2019, she was selected for the 92 Why Women in Power Fellowship and joined the Women’s Network chief as a founding member. She serves on the advisory boards of GenHeration, The Startup Girl Foundation, WOMAZE, the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, and the DeepTrust Alliance, focused on fighting the spread of misinformation.

Blake Schofield 3:11
You know, it took a while for Callie and I to be able to connect. She’s a fairly new mom. I’m so thankful for her graciousness and spending time with me, and with you on this podcast today. You know, Callie not only share some really amazing insights about how to go from maybe not knowing how to fully leverage LinkedIn or not knowing how to really engage or communicate and really use LinkedIn to your benefit, to create a stronger brand, more networking, really move forward in your career. And she shares a ton of insights about how to move from that to really learn some of the really powerful ways that you can show up to leverage LinkedIn to build more connection, more community, and a greater network. But she also shares some really beautiful personal learnings from her journey, and how she went from a place of her career really being how she defined herself, and to truly learning how to define success on her terms. And I could not be more thrilled with the conversation that we had and the ability to share her wise wisdom, knowledge, and skills with you today. So without further ado, here’s Callie.

Blake Schofield 4:31
Hello Callie, I couldn’t be more excited for our time together today.

Callie Schweitzer 4:34
Me too. Thanks so much for having me.

Blake Schofield 4:37
Yeah, absolutely. I have a feeling that this conversation is gonna be jam packed with so much value. So I’m really excited for our time together today. That said, why don’t we launch off? Can you share a little bit about you? What’s your journey been like? And how has it led you to where you are today?

Callie Schweitzer 4:56
Yeah, so I am the youngest of three girls and I was the underachiever, so I grew up with some learning disabilities and really struggled to meet my own expectations of who I wanted to be. My sisters are brilliant, and we’re going to Ivy League schools. And we’re valedictorian and salutatorian, my oldest sister got a five in an AP class that she never went to. She had a different calculus class at the exact same time. It’s not like she was like, you know, playing hooky, she was in a different calculus class. So I always grew up with so much pressure on myself. And I think that that’s one of the things that led me to USC Annenberg, which I grew up in New York, and I was going 3000 miles away, and I was going to create my new self, right, I was going to be someone who was not one of the Schweitzer sisters, I was going to be Callie. And I had an incredible experience there at their Journalism and Communication school Annenberg. And it really was a launching pad for my career in media. So after college, I came back, and I worked my way up the corporate ladder quite quickly. And I was at places like Vox Media, Talking Points Memo, Time, Time, Inc., and ultimately Thrive Global.

Callie Schweitzer 6:14
And one of the things that I realized was that over the course of that time, I really became a human doing, not a human being. I was really so trying to optimize for overcoming this fear I had of not being enough, that I gave everything to my work. I mean, just everything. When quitting my job when I was 28, I had no plan. And I realized that, that there is a financial privilege in that and being able to do that, but what I realized was that I didn’t know who I was outside of my job title. And it was really critical that I figured that out. And honestly, the last several years have really been thinking about that and thinking about who am I? And who do I want to be? What, you know, a lot of people talk about personal brand. And they say like, Oh, it’s so gross, right? To me, a personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. And I think that was a big reflection for me, what do I want people to say about me when I’m not in the room.

Blake Schofield 7:16
I love that and how powerful that you left your career that you were at 28. At 28, I had my first kiddo. I came back from maternity leave got shingles, due to the stress that I was under. And I then spent the next 12 years finding that unfulfilled there’s something more for my life feeling. And so I look at the parallel. And I said to you, when we when we got on, I said, goodness, gracious, I wish that when I was your age, I had the level of understanding and belief in myself, and understanding my worth, that you have done. And I look at that. And I think well, that’s why. Because when that moment came, I went through the same thing, I had all of my worth wrapped up in my job, I gave everything to it, I went through so many cycles of burnout. But when that moment hit me, like 28. And by the way, it started for me, like literally the first six months out of college, when I started my job, I was like, Wait a second, this is not what I thought it was gonna be. But I stayed the course out of fear, out of success, and how much money I was making, out of lack of clarity on what else was, was the right path for me. And I love to be able to watch and say, Well, you were in that same spot, but you chose a different path. And that different path really enabled you probably to avoid, Well, I know, enables you to avoid a significant pain, frustration, and a lot of wasted time and energy, that unfortunately, I went through, which is why I’m so passionate about helping women understand there’s a better way.

Callie Schweitzer 8:45
At the time, it was so painful. I was mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually bankrupt, right? I just didn’t have any connection to who I was anymore. And I think that that was a real wake up call for me. It was like, I worked my way, I worked so hard to get here. But this actually isn’t what’s going to fulfill me for a lifetime. You know, I used to think that I probably wouldn’t have kids because it wouldn’t be conducive to working in the corporate ladder. Right. And I think that’s something that we have to continue to dispel that idea, right? And the myth that you can’t have at all, I 100% agree, you can’t have it all. But all is different for all of us. Right? And I think that that’s something that’s really important to me, this idea of like you can have enough and find what enough means for you. And I think that’s really where I’ve landed in my career is thinking through how do I have a great professional life but also a robust and special and loving personal life.

Blake Schofield 9:54
I love that and you know, I think this old adage about having it all presumes that success is the same for everybody. And on this journey, an important piece is learning how to actually define success for yourself, which is what you went through in that process, is what I went through. And it’s a huge part of how I help my clients really redefine that, because I’ve been able to have it all, but it’s all in my terms and my way, and that may not be all for somebody else. And that doesn’t matter. Because I get the things that I value and at the end of the day, that eventually creates the life that you want. So can you share a little bit about, okay, so you’re 28, you walk away from everything that you’ve done? What’s happened since then, in your career? What have you done? And how have you gotten to where you are today?

Callie Schweitzer 10:42
Yeah, so I ran my own business for two years consulting for different brands, ranging from Facebook to Bloomberg to Time, and we love the freedom and flexibility that came from it. But I’ll tell you that it was probably the time in my life when I was most insecure, because I was just, I wasn’t Callie from time. I wasn’t Callie connected to big name or big company. And it was such a learning experience to grow into the comfort of like, no actually being just Callie is like a really good thing, right? It’s okay. And so over those two years, I just loved learning more about what it was like to be this person not attached to something. But then I have had a bunch of friends who work at LinkedIn. And they have an incredible editorial team. They’re led by Dan Roth, who’s the Editor in Chief. And there’s a woman named Jessi Hempel who runs the Hello Monday, hosts the Hello Monday podcast, which I highly recommend everyone listen to. And she had told me about this job opportunity there as the marketing editor. And the role was really to curate and create and, you know, convene people who had voices in the marketing industry. And I loved that. I then moved over to LinkedIn as community management team a year later and worked to find ways in which we can support members. And now I’m the Head of Community Programs, which is really exactly what I just said, how do we support members and sharing what it is that they know? Because something that I think is so interesting is that we are all experts in our own story. We’re experts in our own experience.

Callie Schweitzer 12:24
I always say, I hate the phrase pick your brain. And the reason why is because I think it implies that there’s zero value exchange, which I think is completely wrong, right? It’s the idea that like, like, I’m going to pick your brain, and you’re going to tell me everything. And I’m just gonna sit here and be like, uh-huh, right. That’s not how it works. The intern can learn from the CEO, but the CEO can learn from the intern. And so I’m always huge on this idea of get out of the mindset of pick your brain, because you have so much value to bring to a conversation. And one of the things I always say about LinkedIn is that it’s a platform of generosity. It’s a place to think ‘we before me’. And I think that’s really important when it comes to all of social media, and also just how you show up in your life. How can you think about the collective? How can you think about the fact that together, we are actually all so much smarter than when we’re alone? And I think that that’s something that really shows up for me on the platform is, how can I work with members to make sure that they feel empowered in their own voice to share what it is that they know, because maybe it’s a routine, maybe it’s a podcast they listen to, maybe it’s a book they just read, maybe it’s a job interview process, there’s so many different experiences we all have that are individual and that we can teach each other things from.

Blake Schofield 13:42
I love it. You know, I’m on LinkedIn, in most out of all social media, I actually joined LinkedIn really, really early on. My brother in law’s in the tech space, and he introduced me to it when I was like, I don’t even know what this thing is. And so it’s been amazing to watch the journey of how much LinkedIn has grown and changed. And yet often, I think it’s a platform people misunderstand, they don’t know how to use so well. And often, I think it’s hard to find internal LinkedIn people. So, I’m so excited to have you here today. Because I feel like the people listening to this podcast are gonna get such a special treat to be able to get some real insight to you, not just from you and how inspirational your personal journey has been, and what they can take from some of your learnings and your lessons, but also to be able to understand the power of LinkedIn and the power of ‘we before me’ because I think a lot of people don’t fully know how to leverage LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a platform that many professionals are on, they know they should be on it. I think it creates a lot of fear and anxiety, though about, what is my boss gonna think, what are other people going to think, how do I connect with people? What would be the biggest piece of advice you would give to somebody who’s not really used to sharing some of their personal things publicly or isn’t sure how to do that? In a way that is enhancing their brand?

Callie Schweitzer 15:03
I think something that’s really important is to take the pressure off of it. I think on all social media, we sit there thinking the best it could be, right? A lot of people will tell me, I had this LinkedIn post in drafts for like three weeks, that I kind of can’t find the final word for it, right? It’s like Instagram captions, or filters, or something like that. And I think that what’s actually really important is to just start doing it, to just start getting out there, and also recognize, like, I mean, I have posts that bomb, right, like, there’s gonna be some wins and some misses. And I think it’s really important as you start to think about your content strategy, or just how you’re going to develop your voice on the platform, get comfortable with the fact that it’s all a learning experience, you know, something that I think about is it’s all practice, right? Everything that you learn leads to the learning for the next time. And I think that it can be really scary to put yourself out there. But what I would always say is, I think there’s two major opportunities. One is I hate the phrase thought leadership, but thought leadership can be built in the comments. And I think one of the most important ways and easiest ways that you can get comfortable with sharing your voice on a social platform is to find people who you want to follow, people whose conversations you want to join, and then join that. And look, maybe in the beginning, it’s thanks for sharing exclamation point, right. But over time, you will feel more comfortable adding to the conversation. In my experience, this has actually been really successful from a B2B marketing strategy. And this is how my company approaches it and things like that. So I would say commenting is critical.

Callie Schweitzer 16:38
The other thing is, I want to know how people use their time. And that’s true of somebody who’s brand new to the workforce, or somebody who’s a fortune 50 CEO, I want to know what you’re reading, what are you listening to, what you’re watching, right? There are so many different things. I saw this incredible posts from Suzy Welch this past week about comparing succession and the most recent episodes to different business lessons. And I was just like, Yes, this is so smart. And it’s such a perfect way to tap into the zeitgeist in culture, but also bring this professional bent. And I think that Winton really changed during COVID. Right, it became the professional water cooler, the virtual water cooler. And that’s where I will say, people started showing up much more as their full selves. And I think that has been tremendous, just in terms of what you see people sharing on the platform. I think one of the biggest things that you can also think about when it comes to generosity is opportunities. And do you have opportunities that you can share with people. So a great example of this CMO of GoFundMe, Musa Tarik, he is a big name in marketing. And one day, he said, Hey, I’m gonna read the marketing classics. I came up in marketing, but I never really learned the fundamentals. It’s not exactly something people teach anymore. So would anybody want to be in a book club, and he goes to the Google Form, and I think it was something like 2000 people responded. And it led to monthly meetings that he and I ran, where we would read a book by somebody in the field, and then we’d bring them in, and we have a discussion with them. And it was such a great way of leveraging the platform to think about how to bring people together and in community, anybody can do that. And I think that that’s something that I really tried to lean on, when I’m thinking about things. How can I convene people? And how can I make sure that the conversations that I want to see happen are happening on the platform.

Blake Schofield 18:34
To your point, it’s so much different than how LinkedIn used to be. And I saw that shift. And there were people that complained, like, Oh, this is becoming Facebook, and all of these things. But to your point, we all get to choose what that is that we’re sharing. And there’s so many ways of which people who are intellectually curious, people who want to build a community can do so in such an impactful way. And I’ve watched that shift happen. I know before COVID, there were LinkedIn live events, I haven’t seen much that I hope some of that will come back. I think that was really cool. Man, I think there’s so many ways that we, as a society are seeking connection. And so while we’re through the toughest of COVID, we now have a workforce that spread out and structured very differently than how it was. Some people went 100% back to work, some people are doing hybrid, there are a ton of remote roles still. And I think at the end of the day, we’re all searching for inspiration, community, learning and growth. And truly when you understand it, networking from the standpoint of being able to align with people who share similar values, and you can accomplish more together. And I’d love hearing your ideas and your perspective about it, because I think most people go on to the platform really worried about how people are going to perceive them and they’re, it’s a very internal bends. Right? I feel awkward about this. How should I do things? But to your point when you can take it external and you can say how can I follow people that inspire me and share with them how they’re inspiring me or share my perspective about that, how can I take some things I’m interested in and share that with other people, there becomes this beautiful expansive thing where it’s more about serving others and creating community than it is about yourself. And I find when we take that perspective and approach, number one, that creates more abundance and more opportunity for everybody else. But, number two, it enables us to show up as our best selves.

Callie Schweitzer 20:26
Yeah. And I think one of the things we talk about is the fact that all of the knowledge in the world exists in our members’ heads. And so, how you show up on the platform, you can be looking for all of the knowledge in the world and finding it, there are so many ways to become an expert in your field, just based on what you learn from other people, right? I think about people who go to YouTube to look at how to learn something, you can do the exact same thing on LinkedIn, you can follow experts in your field industry specialists, you know, people who are practicing the craft every day, and then think about it, that opportunity to engage with them. I think that’s something that’s hugely important is thinking about not only LinkedIn, I don’t believe LinkedIn is a broadcast platform. I believe it’s a conversation or dialogue platform. It’s something where it is all about the two way conversation or the multi way conversation. And I think that that’s something that if you bring that mentality to the platform, you’re going to see really meaningful results.

Blake Schofield 21:28
Awesome. So one of the things I have really appreciated about LinkedIn last couple years is more of this focus to your point on centralized topics that are trending, or news that’s out there. For people who aren’t as familiar, don’t spend as much time on LinkedIn, how might you go about learning business news, trending topics, or find people that you’re excited to follow?

Callie Schweitzer 21:50
Yeah, so if you’re on desktop, on the homepage, on the right hand side, you’ll see a module called LinkedIn news. If you’re on mobile, and you click the Search bar, LinkedIn news will pop up underneath your search results. That is a team of editors all over the world who I work with on LinkedIn editorial, who are sharing the trending conversations on the platform. So when it comes to joining the conversation, even if you are a new member, you just hop over to that section, see what’s trending. And you can leave a comment on anything that’s featured and what we call a storyline, which is a roundup of the most popular conversations on the platform. There are invitations and conversations waiting for people to weigh in. And I think that that’s something that it’s such a, it’s such low hanging fruit, the idea that every single time we’ve signed on this platform, there’s a trending, multiple trending conversations that you can weigh in on. And so I think when it comes to getting comfortable posting on the platform, like I said, you can build thought leadership in the comments, head over to the trending news module, leave some comments, and just build your voice that way.

Blake Schofield 22:57
Years ago, I think LinkedIn really had a lot of rules and restrictions around, you must know this person, you must have worked this this person, etc. in terms of connection, which to me felt like an inhibitor to some degrees to actually expand your network. I feel like over the last couple of years, there’s been much more openness to that. And as a huge part of what I talk to my clients about about you got to get outside of just your industry outside of the people that you know, to grow. And so I’m excited the platform has started to move more in that direction where it’s a lot easier to do that than it used to be. But it’s another place I see a lot of fear or trepidation or to be honest, because I look at my inbox every day, people who struggle to do this well. Do you have any perspectives or thoughts on how people might be able to not just engage in the conversations but actually expand their network to meet new people in LinkedIn, to be able to create stronger and larger networks for themselves and give themselves more opportunities to grow in their career?

Callie Schweitzer 23:57
Absolutely. So one of the best ways I think to be noticed by someone is to start joining their conversations really meaningfully. I would say that that is the initial step. But after that, I think you should absolutely message someone and offer something you can give to them. I think that’s something that’s really important. When I think about reaching out to people, I always think what is something of value that I can offer to them? Because so often you just get the ask, do you have 15 minutes? Can I have half an hour? What do you think, right? I’d love to pick your brain right? We know that statement is a trigger for me. How do you offer someone and not ask something? The other thing that I think a lot about and I talked to, I tell people a lot about this when it comes to growing your career is how can you just have a slow bread and not a full faucet when it comes to communication? Right? We’ve all seen the people who email every seven days, right, checking in, checking bonus and happier inbox, here I am, right, all that. That’s full faucet. That is like a time strategy where it’s like, clearly they have a snooze reminder every seven days. Think slow drip. And what I mean by that is, Hey, Blake just wanted to let you know I listened to the most recent podcast episode, it was fantastic, this particular line really resonated with me. Hope you’re well. I didn’t ask for anything. I’m not asking for your time. There’s no favor and there’s nothing attached to that. But it has your name. It has my name in your mind. Top of Mind. A few months later, I saw this great article that you wrote, It was so awesome to see that you talked about a podcast that I had actually just listened to from your archive. No, ask nothing. That third time. Like you may respond. You may you because prior to that, you may say time, right? Oh, that’s so nice. But think about it’s like imprinting this idea of exposure therapy, exposure therapy or self to somebody else.

Callie Schweitzer 25:51
I think a lot about that. Because some of the best relationships I’ve worked with people who I didn’t know, came out with the idea that I just started as their fan, or I started as their reader or I started as someone who’d say, like, Hey, I thought you’d be interested in this article. You know, I think about someone who I hired at Time Inc. She was an intern, and she had met with me during my office hours. And that following year, she really took the slow drip approach, she would reach out, I saw that Time updated the website and revamped, redesign, looks great. That’s it. Get in touch with me again, Hey, here’s an update on what I’m doing in college. Here’s my school paper. Here’s an article they wrote recently. I ended up hiring her as an intern for time that summer, and then she was offered a full time job. And I think that that is something that can happen to you at any stage in your career. And I think it’s really important to think about those moments again, of generosity. And it’s not calculated, right? It has to be genuine. Because no one it’s not. That’s the thing. And what I would say is, I often tell people, when they’re looking for a new job, write a list of all the companies that you couldn’t live without. So what are the brands that you’re absolutely obsessed with, you couldn’t get through the day, because those people when you reach out to somebody there and you write a fan letter, it’s going to be more authentic than any cover letter or anything you could have written to a company that just has a job description that you think seems interesting, it’s just going to be so much more authentic, and from the heart. And with tell, you can just always tell.

Blake Schofield 27:21
100%, and I love so much of what you said, because it centers around and I bring this back because success leaves clues. It centers around many of the things that I talk to my clients about all the time, right, and abundance mentality, showing up and giving value to people, not expecting anything, being unattached to the outcome. And it’s just that giving, into that giving often, you end up receiving. But it’s interesting, because I see so many people on the platform, I cannot tell you the number of messages I get on a weekly basis and said, Well, I noticed we have mutual friends. And I’m looking to expand my network. So I’m a number like, what’s that? I don’t want to connect with you just to be a number. So you have more people on your LinkedIn connection? Help me understand why you want to connect with me, what you know about me, what we have in common, where you think we could partner together. And I think, whether you are in the process of a job search and trying to figure out what’s next, or recognizing that networking really is done best consistently. It’s that element of showing up authentically, of really wanting to understand or build a real relationship with somebody, and not showing up from what can they do for you, but showing up and what can you do for them? And I just think that’s beautiful. So thank you for sharing that. That is there’s a synergy of everything that you’ve shared today that’s really about that, which is great. Let me ask you as a LinkedIn insider, what are the things that you hope LinkedIn can continue to do and continue to grow? That really help people in the professional space? What are your hopes and desires around how that comes to fruition?

Callie Schweitzer 28:54
I’m so driven by our goal to connect every member of the workforce to opportunity. And I think what I think about on the platform every day is how am I working to support that? And how am I working to support people in feeling comfortable starting these conversations? Because their heart, right? I mean, I told you earlier, I had my son eight weeks early, and he was in the NICU. And it was the most challenging two months of my life. And yet LinkedIn was so incredibly supportive. I mean, I am a type A overachiever who had plans to leave a meticulous maternity leave hand off, right? Like I was going to have my ducks in a row. And then you realize, life happens, and that doesn’t happen. So I left eight weeks early, kind of just dropped everything. And my colleagues and LinkedIn as a corporation showed up for me in such a big way. And when I came back to work after leave, I wrote about that on the platform, and it was easy, like it was a very personal experience. It was something that you know, I wasn’t sharing it. So people would say, you know, Oh, I feel bad for you. I was sharing it to actually talk about the fact that your employer can show up for you really meaningfully. And these are the ways in which they can. And it started this huge conversation. And I heard from so many people who had children and it you just said, I never really thought about it this way, or have you looked into X benefit? Or have you done all of these different things where people shared their story with me, and we felt so connected. And I think that that was something that it was really important to me, it’s a hard conversation to start. But once you start it, you find there’s so many ways in which meaningful connections can come out of that. And so I would say what I’m most committed to and feel is most important is just continuing to support our members in feeling comfortable developing their voice and making use of the platform. And like I said, maybe you’re just following a lot of people and you’re just gaining knowledge. And that knowledge ultimately helps you connect to a new job or connect to a mentor or something like that. But how can we make sure that people know how to make the most of the platform and the way that they want to?

Blake Schofield 31:06
I love that. One of the things you and I were talking about shared value system. Before we started the podcast I shared with you my, you know, my passion for bringing more humanity to the workforce. As a mom of three who spent 18 years in corporate retail and worked 50 to 70 hours a week on average, I encountered a lot of environments where you were just expected to suck it up, get the work done, there wasn’t a lot of conversation about what people were passionate about, what were they struggling with. And I feel like we’re at a tipping point in the society. And I think COVID helped with this, when people saw real life behind you, right, kids running in or problems happening at your house. Where I think there’s an opportunity to recognize that being able to show up authentically, and recognize the humaneness that we all are bringing can enable us to actually be empowered to create better results together, healthier work environments, a more supportive and more connected team. And all of the data shows, I mean, it has ensured for decades that when people love the people they work with, they’re happier, they’re more productive, they create more success. But I still think we have a ways to go in terms of what that really looks like. And I love hearing what you’re saying here, Callie, because if we can on a social media platform that’s focused on professionalism and networking, we can begin to share the stories of this is what I went through in my life. And this is how my coworker supported me. And we can begin to create that dialogue.

Blake Schofield 31:43
Even from a social media standpoint, I think it then opens up the ability to say, wait, I want to have this when I’m working with my coworker, I want to have this when I’m in the office. And beginning to break those paradigms is huge, because I’ve seen that happen with my clients where they can take that understanding and take it back to their next company, or in their current role while they’re searching for something else. And the impact it’s made on their teams and their people and their ability to truly show up as stronger leaders for other people. And it starts with us individually. To your point, it starts with being willing to comment and share or engaged in the dialogue. And there’s something like I said, I think really beautiful about your vision of what’s possible in LinkedIn, and how we can really use that platform to create that change as well. It doesn’t just have to be sitting in our day to day desk with the people that we work with, although obviously that’s impactful as well.

Callie Schweitzer 33:41

Blake Schofield 33:42
Awesome. Well, I have a one or two more questions for you personally, because we’ve talked a lot about LinkedIn, and thank you so much for sharing. There’s a lot for you personally, that you’ve been through in your journey. And we hit a little bit of it on, on it earlier about your ability to recognize that your life was your job, you had lost who you were, and then your personal journey to really finding your own voice, finding your value and finding where you wanted to create the biggest impact for your career while balancing that, right, with your life. I’d be interested in, you know, what advice would you give to other women who are on that journey themselves? What did you learn that you wish that you had known, or you just feel passionate about? Gosh, this was the experience I had, and I want other people to know it so they can avoid some of the challenges that I went through.

Callie Schweitzer 34:30
I have a saying and it is yours though. You only set boundaries once. When you come into a new job, oftentimes, there’s this feeling of I need to be superhuman. Let me just send an email at midnight. Let me show them that I’m on Slack late. You only set boundaries once. What you have done just then is trained other people to expect that if there is a midnight emergency, you’re available, and I think that’s something that’s hugely important. I used to be that person, I was the person who was, you know, the, let me send us an 11:56. Right. I mean, it’s just awful this badge of honor that we feel with being a workaholic. And I think something that’s so important is to think about what are your boundaries. And when I say that, I don’t mean, you know, you’re gonna have to work on the weekends occasionally, right? Like, everybody has things they just have to do. But if you are someone who is building a pattern of sending emails in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning, super early, before everyone has a week, right, hit schedule on your email, maybe it is the best time for you to write it, but schedule it, think about the different ways in which you can show up, as the person that you want other people to treating us, I think that’s something that’s really, really important is coming up with what the non-negotiables are. And like I said, the non negotiables are negotiable, there will be times when they are 100% negotiable. But it’s also really important to have that own internal compass of your own, that you feel this is actually time that is priceless. For me, that’s now between the end of the day, and when my son goes to sleep, that’s the pocket of time in which he’s awake, and we have our time together. And so I managed my colleagues expectations, hey, gonna be off slack for the next 90 minutes, you know, hey, I’ll check in on this later, I’ll check in on this tomorrow. I think that’s something that’s so important, because it is how you can be most true to yourself and showing up for the people in your life.

Blake Schofield 36:32
So important, and something I think so many people struggle with. And I definitely see a trickle down effects. When executives and top leadership doesn’t know how to do that. Often, the VPs, the directors, the senior managers, the managers, and below all believe that they don’t have control over that. But yet what, what you’re saying and what I have come to learn to be true, and again, helped so many women experience themselves is that you have the opportunity to lead what I like to say lead the leader.

Callie Schweitzer 37:03
Uh, I love that.

Blake Schofield 37:05
If you are working for someone who doesn’t have boundaries, and doesn’t respect that and works all the time, and all of those things, often we can believe that we have to do that. But what you can do is actually show a different way. You can show what are your boundaries, you can ask for what you need and want. And and through doing that. You’re not only leading that leader to go, oh, wait, wait, she got it done in a more effective way. And you can also then lead your team to start to understand and put those boundaries in themselves. I had a client couple years ago that was in this exact situation. And we talked about how can you lead the leader, she had a boss who liked through meetings on the calendar all of the time, always disorganized, never prepared for their status. It just was like, you just every week, you’re like what else is coming? I don’t know. And it stressed my client out so bad. She was wanting to quit her job. And so we actually talked about what might be happening with that manager, what might might her fears be? Because this is the thing, we don’t stop and think if you have somebody in a job that is working till 11:59 constantly doing this. It’s fear based, almost always.

Blake Schofield 38:13
And so it’s like, what’s her fear? And what is she struggling with? And maybe she’s lacking the skills and tools to know how to prioritize or schedule things. Maybe she’s fearful that that’s her your expectation of her is a leader. And if we can begin to understand what’s going on with the people we’re working with? And what might they be struggling with? And what might they need? We can take it from a place of this is happening to me and I have no control over it. So how can I show up differently with that person? How could I maybe support them in whatever they’re doing, clarify expectations, so they aren’t stressed out? And or ask for what I need. So she went in? And really we’ve identified what’s going on with your boss, how can you help support her? How can you lead in that conversation? And then how can you ask her what she wanted. And she ended up getting the boss to agree to two days a week with no meetings, for her and her team, completely changed the dynamic. And her boss initially was a little hesitant. So she said I’ll let you try it for two months, two months, and the boss was like, This is amazing, that team so much more productive, all this stuff is happening. It’s starting to shift how her leader showed up. And so this idea that you’re sharing around boundaries is so important.

Callie Schweitzer 39:21
I think something you’re really touching on is to also approach situations with curiosity. And I think that’s, that’s really important. At LinkedIn, we talk about assume best intent, I think, if you also think about just because I haven’t seen something doesn’t mean it’s not being done. That’s an important way that I look my life, right is is reaching out, Hey, by any chance have we done this? And one of the things I was so aware of as a consultant, having been in companies, where external consultants came in, was the idea that the person who works at the company had set the idea in the meeting last week and then all of a sudden the consultant comes in and says the meeting and that consultant has the most brilliant idea, we should have thought of that ourselves and the person who works at the company is like, I did think of that myself. I said it last week. So one of the things I always said when I went into clients was, I’m always going to say, you’ve probably already discussed this, or you may have already discussed this, or have we thought about X, because that way, it makes it a conversation and invitation for me to be curious. And for somebody else to say, yeah, we’ve actually run that whole scenario down, and it’s just not gonna work. We went down that path, right? Instead of the boss saying, yes, because the external consultant said, it’s brilliant. And it must be true, I’m hearing it differently, right. So I think that’s something that’s also really important is in your career in all aspects of your life, approaching things with curiosity, and finding the truth that way, as opposed to assuming something else.

Blake Schofield 40:53
Huge, that is such a huge comment. And I would say I could not agree with you more. And I also want to acknowledge that when we are in fight or flight mode, stressed, anxious, not sleeping, as well as we should, feeling unsafe in our jobs, that can be a lot harder.

Callie Schweitzer 41:12
And that goes out the window.

Blake Schofield 41:14
Because we’re doing everything from a fear based standpoint. So it’s so important to learn how to take care of yourself, how to create your own boundaries, how to understand your emotional triggers. Because when you understand that, you can approach life and everyone around you with a lens of curiosity. And often what it will teach you is many of the things you thought were true, were not. And to your point, Callie, it enables you to build a sense of connection, collaboration, and results in a way that’s truly beneficial. But like I said, I, I want to acknowledge what you’re saying is so powerful, but also acknowledge, I see the struggle that so many people have with that. And because they don’t feel safe in their careers, or they feel like, you know, maybe people actually realize I’m not as good as they think that I am. Or in order to be successful. I have to work all of these crazy hours. And all of those things stand in the way of us showing up actually as our best self.

Callie Schweitzer 42:08
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, all of this is easier said than done. This is something that is a crisis of competence for all of us, right? That inner critic, that voice in your head that says you can’t do this, everyone is about to find you out. If you don’t show up, five minutes early, you’re five minutes late, all of these different things. And I think it’s about setting yourself up for forgiveness, and to have compassion with yourself. And look, it’s not a cure all, it’s not going to come overnight, and there’s still going to be things you’re going to beat yourself up over. But I thought a lot about that when I came back from maternity leave. And just this idea that my expectations of what I could do and how quickly I could get up to speed and things like that, were just so unreal. And a colleague actually ended up saying to me, you know, don’t consider that you’re going to catch up, don’t even use that language. That’s language that’s actually just really guilting working parents. And the reason why is because everybody is here isn’t, there always going to be things that are happening in the organization that you don’t know about. And that’s true of everyone else, including people who were not just on maternity leave. And I found that to be so empowering. And now in meetings, you I have no problem saying context or somebody filming in. Maybe it’s a project that developed two days ago when I was here. But I think being willing to put yourself out there and ask those questions and have grace with yourself is important.

Blake Schofield 43:31
Well, Callie, it’s been such a wonderful conversation today. So many great insights from you on how to show up in a way that’s authentic to you, enables you to create results, but in do so in a way with authenticity, collaboration, and more grace. So I really love that, and some great perspectives about how to leverage LinkedIn, maybe in ways people have never thought that I think there’s so powerful, if applied and applied over a period of time can yield some really amazing results. With that said, now that we’re rounding out our time today together, is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have, or anything else that’s on your heart that you’d like to share before we wrap up?

Callie Schweitzer 44:11
Something I think about every day is that you are your own best advocate. It can be really easy to fall into a mental pattern that your boss is a mind reader. And therefore they know you want that promotion or they know you’ve worked on that project or they know exactly what you’re doing that second, it’s really important to remember you are your own best advocate. And I don’t say that to encourage people to take credit for everything or tell their boss every single thing that they’re doing. But to really remember that you are in charge of your own career development when it comes to the communication around it. And what it is that you’re hoping to achieve and working with your boss, your colleagues, whoever to achieve that because if you don’t say it, nobody knows it. And I think that that’s something throughout my career that I’ve been very cognizant of is that I am my own best advocate. And it can be really hard to speak up and to, you know, give yourself some positive PR, but it’s really important.

Blake Schofield 45:14
Could not agree more. So Callie as people listening to this podcast, they’re like Ash, I really love Callie what she’s about, I’d love to continue just to learn from her, What’s the best way for them to follow you or do that?

Callie Schweitzer 45:29
Just head over to LinkedIn.

Blake Schofield 45:31
Awesome. And we’ll put a link to Callie’s profile in the show notes. So you can just easily find her that way. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s been such a pleasure. Immediately we got on the phone, you guys can’t see it. But we’re wearing the same colored shirt. There was just immediate synergy. And like I said, I appreciate, I know that you probably have a ton of people that request your time and your energy and your knowledge, and I appreciate you taking your time here for me and for our listeners really to share your wisdom and your insight.

Callie Schweitzer 46:02
So happy to. Thanks for having me, Blake.

Blake Schofield 46:04
Absolutely. All right. So for those of you listening, thanks so much for joining. And until next time, have a great one.

Blake Schofield 46:16
Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener, identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!