EXCLUSIVE- Confessions of a Covert Jobseeker
Warning: The following story is based on true and unfolding events. It follows the plight of a wary, covert jobseeker. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (obviously). For discouraged jobseekers, viewer discretion is advised.
We received an email from a young woman who had been following the myJoblinx blog. Discouraged by her own job search, a friend of hers recommended our blog for advice. She quickly became interested and reached out to tell us about her job search. She promised full disclosure only if we promised her anonymity to protect her from her current employer. This is her story in her own words:
I’ve been job searching in halfass manner for the past couple months but it hasn’t amounted to much. Weary and restless, I opened up Facebook and Twitter to see what the world was up to. It occurred to me that although I was using social media as a distraction, I decided to use it as my ally and vehicle. I’d read on your blog the numerous techniques on how to do job searches via social media, and since I already had a LinkedIn profile, I decided to start there. I spent a lot of time updating it and connecting and following companies that were in line with my prospective career change.
I thought it important to get recommendations for my work to build credibility, so I reached out to those who I’d worked with in my current job. Lucky for me, these people had either left the company or had moved on to another part of the company. But in connecting with the folks who had recommended me, I kept receiving “Invites to Connect” from others in my company that I didn’t want knowing that I was in the market for a new job. I simply ignored them, but had an unsettling feeling that LinkedIn algorithms were out to get me and would one day recommend my boss as one of my connections- or worse yet, my boss would want to connect with me!
I researched ways to “block” her and it turns out that you can’t truly block a connection. You must take that person off as your contact, have that person appear on your Imported Contacts list, or they must know your email in order to connect. (Path: Account Settings- Email Preferences- Select Who Can Send You Invitations.) Because I ideally want a job in social media and I was using social media to find that job, I thought it silly to not make myself easily “connect-able”. There’s a definite risk in this, but I’m willing to take it because I don’t have a blinking neon sign on my profile that says “I’m looking for a new job!” To compound this risk, the heading on my job title is not what my current job title is at my company. At the moment, I also freelance for a start-up to get more experience in social media and I thought it was a good idea to make that my main job title instead. But, should my boss see that- it could raise some eyebrows. True, my job at the company is also listed in my profile, but it’s clear I’ve made a conscious decision to make my freelance job my priority because it showcases my accomplishments in social media and that’s the eventual transition I want to make.
Is this suicide?
Quite, possibly yes. I’ve accepted these risks because for the first time in a long time, employers are biting. I haven’t gotten an interview yet, but I’ve gone through phone screens, received email inquiries and established connections– something I wasn’t able to do via the traditional job search. My next action item is to optimize my Facebook page for employers to find me. I hope this is helpful! Till next time, K.
We really appreciate this shared story and hopefully many out there following this blog can relate to her story. Special thanks to our mystery jobseeker, K. Tune in next time to see how K is progressing in her job search. Follow or like us to offer her tips and tricks to help her out!