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Stop Begging


Some well-meaning people on LinkedIn who consider themselves career "experts" are advising recently laid off people to announce their status on LinkedIn, to ask for help, and for leads.

Don't do that.

"Wait, Ed!" you exclaim. This isn't the seventies or eighties when people were ashamed to be unemployed. And aren't we supposed to network? Isn't that how most people land a job?

Yes, your observations are correct, but your conclusion---equating announcing on LinkedIn with "networking" is wrong.

That's begging, not networking.

The number one rule of networking is "Don't ask for a job."

The number one principle of networking is "G2G."

Give to get.

If you beg and never give the other person anything, why should you expect them to help you?

Networking is reaching out to people, including LI connections, and not only telling them your status, but also saying how you would like to chat---and then following through.

It's the building of relationships.

When you network, you don't beg. You talk about your interests. You try to get some AIR---advice, information, and a referral. (Who else do you think I should talk to?)

And you express interest in the other party. G2G.

NEVER present yourself on LinkedIn as someone needing a job.

Present your best self.

Why is this so important?

Answer: Because employers and most people have an implicit bias against unemployed people.

Example: Career experts suggest job seekers leverage their school/college alumni networks. And indeed, studies show they can be a powerful assist in landing the next job. But the studies also reveal how those networks are generally less helpful when the job seeker is unemployed.

Why are most sales people tall? A sales manager told me, "Because beautiful people want to buy from beautiful people."

Likewise, employers want to hire already employed people. And your fellow alumni want to be seen as successful--and that means being associated with successful people.

But Ed (you ask), what about the LinkedIn "Open to Work" feature. Are you saying I should not use that?

No, I'm not saying that. I am saying use it with discretion. Set it so only recruiters can see it. Recruiters are the one group that is not biased against unemployed status.

In short, if you present your skills, qualifications, and traits, and then state your interests, you'll attract more actual help than by broadcasting a plea for help.

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