Relationships Matter (Says LinkedIn) & I Really Am Pathetic


It seems to be the way that when you get laid off all of the sudden people treat you like you’ve contracted the Ebola virus. I know it seems rather extreme to make such a claim, but let’s put it this way: At least lepers have their own colonies and community support groups.

What about unemployed people? Who do they hang out with when all of their friends are gainfully employed and successfully busy? Who keeps their spirits up? How long before they start googling, “employed support group” or better yet, go to MeetUp.com with the hopes of finding solace in the grief of other mourners?

I got laid off just shy of two weeks ago and have been in touch with a few people I knew from my old company. Some have been responsive to my emails, others not so much. It’s a fair assumption to say that those people I formed the closest professional relationships are the ones I still keep in contact with. One former colleague is even actively helping me in my job search and lending his expertise in the field I work in by giving me pointers and potential pitfalls to watch out for in any company I work for. It just so happens he left my company around the same time I was let go.

Apart from the infrequent interview here and there, I’ve been uber-active in the past week networking on LinkedIn and collecting recommendations from people I’ve worked with in the past. My greatest piece of advice I have for anyone (employed or unemployed) is to utilize LinkedIn as a resource to both network and work your profile so that it shines as your very own promotional vehicle. Position yourself so that you’re skills, summary, and recommendations are all aligned with what you want to do in your career.

Employers will take note!

Not to give any more props to Google, but how many of you have indulged in a little it’s all about me Web 2.0 style voyeur vanity and Googled your name recently? For many employers/recruiters this information is critical to their “background search” on any candidate and often what comes up first for most professional people is their LinkedIn profile. Don’t hide it away (unless it totally sucks-and then you should get working on it!).

Remember that it’s a much better use of your time to tap into your existing pool of resources and leverage that stuff than to go try and meet people based on the fact you’re all feeling pretty pathetic at the moment. Besides having LinkedIn is a one-stop shop for all that useful shit I mentioned at the start of this paragraph.

To boot LinkedIn (unlike a random “friend” from MeetMeUpBitch.com or whatever) doesn’t seem to mind much if I have a zit on my nose or not.

But wait, who are we kidding here? A zit on my nose? As if…

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