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Networking Dos And Dont’s: A Horror Story

Asking for advice may be troublesome, but as Margaret Morford reminds us in “How To not Be a Networking Leech: Suggestions for Looking for Professional Recommendation.”, there are higher and worse methods to do so. It’s essential reading for anyone reaching out for career help.

But it is also essential to consider how to respond appropriately when others ask us for guidance, as I discuss in my new book, The good Ones: Ten Essential Qualities of Excessive-Character Staff.

Consider the disturbing story of Kelly Blazek. Diana Mekota, a recent school graduate, moved back to Cleveland, her hometown, and thought that reaching out to Kelly, the self-described “Job Bank Mom,” could be a wise move. Since Diana didn’t know Kelly personally, she did what tens of millions of people around the globe do daily to connect with folks they don’t know: she contacted her by way of the enterprise networking web site LinkedIn.

Most LinkedIn customers who get a connection request from somebody they don’t know do one of two things: ignore it or settle for it. Just a few ask for clarification. Kelly selected to respond in another way.

She wrote to Diana and mentioned, “Your invite to connect is inappropriate, helpful only to you, and tacky. Wow, I can’t wait to let each 25-yr-old jobseeker mine my prime-tier advertising connections to help them land a job. Love the sense of entitlement in your era. And subsequently I take pleasure in denying your invite.”

Kelly added that Diana was “a total stranger who has nothing to supply me,” and after several more condescending statements and personal attacks, she ended with “Don’t ever write me again.”

Perhaps Kelly thought Diana was a casting agent for a remake of Mommie Dearest. It is laborious to search out any other explanation for such a contemptuous message. Ironically, the Cleveland chapter of the International Affiliation of Enterprise Communicators had chosen Kelly as their 2013 Communicator of the Yr. In one sense, they were appropriate to do so: Kelly certainly communicated her contempt clearly and unambiguously. She set out to perform a objective — humiliating a job seeker — and succeeded. Nevertheless, she didn’t consider the attainable penalties.

Diana posted Kelly’s message on different social networking websites, including Reddit, Imgur, and Fb, and requested readers to “please name this lady out.” The message was linked to Buzzfeed and then went viral on Twitter and different social media. The story was picked up by information shops, including CNN, Adweek, and the BBC. Many in the Cleveland business community and beyond pressured Kelly to return her communicator award, which she eventually did. She also apologized to Diana and deleted her own Twitter account, her weblog, and everything in her LinkedIn account besides her recommendations.

The ethical issues on this story aren’t as clear-minimize as they might sound. LinkedIn requests from complete strangers can certainly be bothersome, especially for those who get quite a us petroleum equipment wisconsin lottery lot of them, as Kelly apparently did. Diana would have shown better respect for Kelly by asking a mutual pal for an introduction. And Kelly is far from a villain.

A Cleveland advertising and gross sales consultant, Terry Novak, described her as having been “selfless in her efforts to assist individuals within the gross sales/advertising, PR, and media fields discover leads for jobs in Northeast Ohio for a very long time.” It’s also troubling that Diana’s revelations made Kelly’s non-public communication a matter of public report, simply and permanently accessible on the web.

If Kelly’s e-mail to Diana had been the one stain on an otherwise spotless report of supporting job seekers in Cleveland, one might be tempted to grant Kelly a cross and move on. Who amongst us hasn’t made a colossal error in judgment like Kelly’s However other recipients of hateful communications from Kelly have come ahead, indicating that her mistreatment of individuals is nearer to a pattern than to a single, remoted incident.

As Stefanie Moore, an assistant professor at Kent State College’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications, advised the Cleveland Plain Vendor, “This serves as one other reminder that we’re held accountable for our actions, much more so in our on-line-driven world. If we’re inconsistent in our us petroleum equipment wisconsin lottery interactions with our audiences online and offline, we ‘ll be called out. It might take years to construct your on-line popularity and just one slip-up on social media to destroy it. Another lesson: Think earlier than hitting ‘ship.’ “

Professor Moore is correct. In a world the place work is more and more conducted online, high-character workers consider the implications of every textual content, electronic mail, tweet, and on-line forum submit they make at work. Some go additional and apply that standard to their online exercise outside work.

Back when information was disseminated in physical objects called newspapers, a preferred guideline for acting honorably was “Don’t do something you would not want to see as a headline in tomorrow’s paper.” The story of Kelly Blazek’s LinkedIn communications suggests an updated rule: “Keep away from writing or saying anything you would not want to go viral.”

This appears like an ordinary that enables for communicating solely trivialities, but it’s not as stringent as that. It merely calls on us to think about the implications of what we write. Freedom has by no means meant having the proper to insult anyone at anytime for any reason. The internet is essentially the most highly effective communications software the world has ever seen, and as Uncle Ben instructed Peter Parker in the Spider-Man saga, “With nice energy comes great responsibility.”

Some excessive-character folks–the good Ones–handle their work-associated frustrations by writing an indignant response after which deleting it earlier than Refinery sending. This tactic provides the entire giddy pleasure of claiming precisely what you feel without any of the unpleasant side effects, akin to getting fired, jeopardizing your repute, or being the subject of a social-media marketing campaign. Had Kelly Blazek learn David Shipley and will Schwalbe’s guide Ship: Why People Email So Badly and The right way to Do It Better, she might need thought twice about speaking on this hurtful way.

The ethics of networking movement both ways. High-character folks attain out for help in honorable ways, and people on the receiving finish who consider themselves honorable people respond in a gracious and dignified manner.

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On Friday, I will be presenting my discuss, “The good Ones: Ten Essential Qualities of High-Character Workers,” to the high-quality people at the Marathon Petroleum Firm. I would be honored to speak to your group, too. For more information, contact me right here.

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