Sunday, December 16, 2012

LinkedIn (Blogophilia 43.5)

As most of you know, I am currently looking for a job.  And at 54, that is not an easy proposition.  One of the tools of that can be used in the modern era is the social network LinkedIn.com.  It operates on the theory of Six Degrees of Separation, where by using six links you can connect to anyone int he world. In LinkedIn's case, they use only three. And by referring and being referred, theoretically employee and employer are matched to their positions more effectively than the older methods of cold calling and newspaper ads.  It can also be used to scare up sales leads and other types of business activities.

The first level connections are supposed to be your personal acquaintances and business associates.  People you have directly done business with and have some idea how they work.  Then they have associates, who are second level and then from there it goes to the third level.  To illustrate how strong the separation theory is; I currently have 210 first level connections, which translates in 7 million possible business connections in 55 industries and in almost every country in the world.  Because of my background, the vast majority of the connections are accounting or benefits related. I do have some in publishing and theater, but not enough to really count. 

But there is a problem.  I really am not sure that is where I want to end up.I spent the last 30 years of my life working with numbers and people and they both leave me cold. Do I stay in the benefits fields where most of my personal time capsule is?  Or do I branch out to use my writing talents to entertain those around me?  I do have good track record in personal relations and negotiating equitable agreements.  But the thought of dealing with another person with an agenda doesn't interest me.   But there is the matter of the mortgage, so I keep applying. 

When I am selected for an interview, a lot of younger HR types look at me as if I have onions on my belt.  The personal touch is passe with the hyper tracked process controls used in modern business.  The customer (or employee) is a number to be dealt with as quickly as possible, not a living thing that COULD take their business elsewhere. Most of the business don't really care whether customers stay or go. It is maximizing the profit on the one transaction that matters. Employees can be replaced with more computers and machines.  They are more reliable, anyway.  Ultimately the business has a full pantry, but a problem. The drive to maximize  wears out the organization.  Like a spent plant, in can no longer provide the seed to keep the process going and it dies a slow death. Think of Hostess and other recent business failures.  Suck them dry and leave the husk behind. 

I will interview with someone and I can spot whether they are one of the hyper tracked.  They are extremely careful to stay on script, knowing their every move is being recorded.  I will sometimes throw an odd answer in to see if I can throw them, but most of the interviews are like robots.  The script is sacrosanct.  I know the odd answers take me out of the running for the position, but that is fine.  I probably wouldn't fit there anyhow. I'll just track them to see if they ever do fill the position.  So far, most of them haven't.

So I move on.  I will eventually find something that fits.  Meanwhile, I have time to read, write and enjoy those around me.  I learned a long time ago I didn't need the new car or the fancy house (although this one could use some work). Things work out like they are supposed to in the end.  My opinion doesn't really matter.  


Oh, and if you want to see the profile. It is here.  LinkedIn



12 comments:

  1. After 50 is very difficult to find work it seems. It took my husband two years to find work after his company closed and with a huge pay cut. Life is more of a struggle now but we are doing okay and learned to give up so much.


    Michelle K

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    1. You know, I'm not worried about the struggle. There is something for me at the end of the path, I just have to be patient to get it.

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  2. employers don't realise what a good catch a mature person is. And yeah fun to play with the questions as long as the person behind the desk means nothing to you.

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    1. They generally don't. They are as scared of the axe as I was.

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  3. You'll have to share what works. I think I may start looking around come new years. (My current employer seems to have lost the importance of people in their numbers game.) But the idea of looking around at this age (58) scares me.

    TM

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    1. The numeric drive is all modern business knows. And the goals to be reached get higher and higher. And we wonder why people keep cracking?

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  4. The realities of the world are harsh, but there is one thing you stated that I dissagree with. You do matter! You have circles that revolve around you and you are in circles in which your revolve around others. You have family and friend circles that revolve around you and you also revolve around them. You do matter, in more ways than you might think. And you, very much, matter to us here at Blogophilia! 8 points Earthling! :)
    Marvin

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  5. All the best for 2013 love, I wish you positivity :)

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  6. Chris, I am sorry, I did not realize that you were looking for a job. (Admittedly a bit out of the loop lately due to family commitments & busy with holiday preparations).

    I wish you all the best in your search, and hope you keep us posted on your experiences. I ran into a situation myself this past year that seemed to be age discrimination. I just chalked it up to it not being the right time or situation..... I may try again for a part time flexible position in the New Year though, so any info is appreciated.

    HUGS and have a wonderful holiday season!

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    1. Oh, age discrimination is out there. But it has always been out there. That is nothing new. What is new is the outright fear of making a mistake that is out there. So the positions stay open for months and months and the companies complain about not having qualified candidates. No, it is they are just too scare to make a commitment.

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