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Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn

How LinkedIn Helps Before You Are Between Jobs

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Generate The Thing Between

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connection. But lots of people, once they land the job, put connection on the back burner. Some take it off the stove entirely—and that is a mistake, especially in this economy. I know this because many friends and colleagues are on radio silence most of the time. Until rumors of layoff float by. Then it’s connections galore.

Don’t let connections go dormant.

Don’t let connections go dormant.

Connection is something that happens long before you have a need or want to generate a sale. In fact, connection is not about the need or the sale, it is something entirely different. And we make LinkedIn frenemies when we mistake connection for a sale.

For those who understand the importance of connections outside immediate work and building relationships widely, there is a great joy in getting to know people and simply seeing what might happen. It’s not even an introvert/extrovert thing. It is a possibility thing. Maybe it is a thing for dreamers, but I think not. It is for anyone who starts to wonder what is possible outside the structure that encases their days.

This openness to others—this beckoning to others, this waving them close—is the early move toward collaboration. It is the ordinary conversation that starts to generate new things between you, seemingly by magic. It is the beginning of finding common ground that eventually leads to “Wait—what could we do together?”

Curiously, openness to others has a way of working backward into our present job so that we start to see new ways of working, collaborating and connecting.

When teaching college students about professional writing, I try to help them understand that the best jobs are the ones not advertised. The best jobs open and shut before ever posted on a web page or printed as a classified ad. Those jobs are available only to connections. Those jobs are almost incidental to the connection: friends see what you do, how fun you are to work with. Their synapses fire and they say to themselves, “She might be perfect for this need we have.”

Maintaining and growing connection is not for a someday need or someday sale. It is a piece of being human and carries a glory all its own.


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

The Lost Art of Getting Back

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Returning phone calls is so 2008

A recent post from Big Picture Leadership reminded me how mystified I am that so few people actually return calls or emails. Twice in the past two weeks I’ve had conversations about this phenomenon. And these conversations were with people in positions of power, which makes the phenomenon all the more difficult to figure.

I get that everyone is busy. I get that we often we think we know why the person called or emailed, and that their issue is not our issue. Or perhaps the answer is “No” but we don’t want to say it aloud. But I think not-getting-back is deeper than just busy. I think it actually says something troublesome about people, perceptions and power relationships. I am guilty too—on all three counts.

These days the medical device industry regularly purges employees for one reason or another—just like every other industry with human capital. What once was a stable position in a stable company is now neither. A person in a stable position in a stable company has a certain perception of power that tracks with their budget and mandate. That perception of power vanishes the instant the person is called into the corner office to be downsized. I know this because I see these people working LinkedIn like crazy.

I have some older people in my life these days and I’ve been listening to what they say about the sense of being marginalized and invisible. George Tannenbaum’s recent reflection on Work. And death is apropos and could also have included what happens as people slowly fade into their age, which is to say, into the woodwork.

Over the last few months I’ve also had opportunity to email three philosopher/authors who works I love reading (Drs. Sean Hand, Robert Sokolowski and Michael Purcell). I had obscure obscure questions or comments about something they had written, and would they comment further? I was amazed—indeed, it was remarkable—that all three gave very generous responses and even provided extra source material.

These philosopher’s responses remind me that I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t take power distance, assumptions about what my friend will say or mere busyness as a reason to not acknowledge someone’s humanity.


Image credit: terra99 via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

November 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

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