Linkedin, as a social network, is different than others in that it was created around connections and networking, and the purpose of it, generally speaking, is to connect people together professionally.
To that end, since people go there to ‘Network’, there is a tendency for people to be willing to help you professionally, if you ask for it correctly.
There’s three ways I can think of to immediately ask for help on Linkedin:
Give 10x more than you receive
Ask for specific, actionable help
Go out of your way to be thankful
Give 10x More Than You Receive
Nobody likes a beggar. Especially a persistent one. The old rule in networking is to give ten times before you ask once. My friend Jason Alba taught me that principle and he turned me down when I offered him a job 12 years ago only to create his own company (JibberJobber) literally helping people get jobs (his amazing 6 week Job Search Program currently is on sale at more than 60% off with this link—and a JibberJobber subscription is included!) . He’s also an accomplished Pluralsight author if you’re a member of their great program.
His advice, to give 10x more than you receive, has been a cornerstone of my personal and professional philosophy. As I have built my company, and my network of thousands of hand-picked first level LinkedIn connections, i have tried to maintain this posture of helping 10x before asking once. It focuses my efforts on being good and kind as well and that helps in the most challenging times.
Be sure you are helping others more than asking for help. It’s good for your soul and your reputation.
Ask for Specific, Actionable Help
The biggest thing you need to do is ask for something specific. If you just yell out “help!” but you don’t provide some kind of direction, you will hear nothing but crickets.
Ask for something specific, depending on where you’re posting.
On your feed, asking for leads on a new job is totally appropriate. Or perhaps “anyone know companies that are hiring?”
In a private LinkedIn group, you can do the same but be more specific, and know that your request isn’t public for the world (or your employer) can see.
Finally, in a personal one-on-one message, you can also directly ask for a connection to a specific person or company. For example “Hi, Mary. I hope you’re well. I am looking into this role (link) at your company. Do you know who I should talk to? My resume is attached.”
Also, Say Thank You!
Finally, go out of your way to thank those who help you. Publicly or privately, let people know you appreciate any help they provide.
Paying it forward by helping others and crediting the help you’ve received along the way is a great way to show your appreciation as well.
Pro tip: If someone gets you that dream job you wanted? Surprise them with $200 gift card to their favorite restaurant or store once you get your first paycheck or signing bonus. If they don’t want the money, ask to donate it to their favorite charity in their name and send them the receipt for tax purposes.
A few years ago, my teenager asked if we could watch The Hate U Give, a movie based on the book of the same name. I knew the subject would be controversial, and I wanted her to watch it, though I was adamant that we watch it together because I wanted to talk with her about it. I am glad I did, and I highly recommend this movie to you so you can better appreciate other’s lived experiences if you have not lived them yourself.
There are many debates, and I would say changes, that need to happen in our society that these two incidents, so close in time and so terribly visible on camera show, but in the more narrow scope of this writing, I think one question needs to be asked, in terms of Amy Cooper, what do you do when someone in your company is spotlighted like this. How do you react?
You’re in #HR . Over the weekend, an employee engages in racist behavior that’s caught on video. The video goes viral. What do you do?
Do you immediately fire the employee? What do you say to other employees? Do you tell everyone not to talk to the media? Should you just let it be?
Doing nothing is disastrous. HR needs to take the lead in addressing employees, holding forums with staff, drafting talking points for leadership and managers, and fostering an environment where employees feel safe to raise issues stemming from this incident and others.
Do you ultimately fire her? Abso-fricking-lutely. Not only is there a legal risk for her employment decisionmaking, but the organization’s commitment to being a fair, harassment-free workplace is now squarely in the spotlight. Keeping her will forever damage the organization for both employees and customers.
What do you think?
More important than that, the reality is that ALL of us have faced real situations where either we are ‘Amy Cooper’ or we behave in a way like ‘Amy Cooper’ toward others.
Those of you in leadership positions, this becomes especially tricky because, what if ‘Amy’ is someone in your team? Even more, what if he/she is your top performer?
As I noted on Katie’s post, “what do you do if there is NO video and the employee in question has ‘always been a team player’ and ‘consistently ranks above average on evaluations’?
No. Really. When there’s no spotlight, what do you do?”
This is not an easy thing to grapple with, and likely is more real than any of us want to admit.
So, today, May 27, 2020, what are you going to do differently, seeing so much that needs to obviously change?
Part of the answer, as Jodi-Ann notes, is Allyship. This means getting clear about what your part in all this might be, and realizing you may be complicit more than you know.
Tolerating even a little racism or sexism leads to cultural challenges personally, organizationally and, as we see too frequently, nationally.
People will do what they see their leaders do. Actions > Words. Serve and care for those around you and, if you are a leader, then lead from the front and from the back, cheering those on who are struggling, and carrying those who otherwise could not make the journey.
Resolve, today, to be part of the solution.
Is That What It’s Really Like?
A few days after we watched The Hate U Give movie, my teenager asked me openly, “Is that what black neighborhoods are really like, or was that just for the movie?”
The question set me back a bit, I admit. We don’t live in a glitzy, fancy neighborhood. Our homes are very moderately priced. Even underwhelmingly priced. Yet, our quiet community South of Salt Lake City is markedly different from the streets depicted in the film. But, they were not too different from some of the streets I knew as a kid in Indianapolis (though I lived in the quiet suburbs, I spent a moderate amount of time in the city).
I relayed back to her that I thought it was a pretty fair depiction of what life in black communities was like in a lot of the country.
She thought about it and said she appreciated the chance to see things through the eyes of the teenage girl in the film — torn emotionally between her black roots and the predominantly white prep school she attends — and then a secret witness to the death of her friend at the hands of a police officer.
She has been different since we watched that movie together. These stories and other lived experiences have helped her want to lift up and care about people around her in ways I think most teens would not spend time on.
I hope she will continue to be an ally to those around her. I hope to continue helping her have those experiences as well.
I’m writing this near a hideaway campground I found near Capitol Reef National Park. I took a few days off this last week, not just physically but mentally as well — something I haven’t done in six months and something I think I have never actually done well.
So, I am nostalgic. Bear with me.
Someone I highly respect said once that as you get older you start experiencing what he calls “long days and short years.”
I am starting to understand some of that.
I wonder if this same sentiment is echoed in Robert Frosts’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening where he laments how many miles to go he has before he sleeps, and in Five for Fighting’s “100 Years” (YouTube) remarking how he is chasing the years of his life and speaking back to his fifteen-year old self telling him he’s got plenty of time ahead.
And I am reading Four Hour Workweek for the first time (yes, late bloomer, I know) and considering his admonition that we should take Fridays off, even if we “work” but focus on self-work or learning new things, and that compressing our work is better for us than relentlessly trying to hustle for more, more, more and more.
So, as I pack up to take my remote trailer office home today, I am pondering the value of just unplugging and letting things that I have built on over weeks and months and years “fend for themselves” for a few days.
And nothing blew up — that I know of.
And I am fresher and more excited about the good things I need/get to do.
And I am also more keenly aware of the endless loops I get myself into where there is a lot of hustle but no production — a lot of noise but little signal.
And a resolve to do better about breaking that cycle. Now.
Partly by forcing myself to waste some hours in the week. On purpose. So I can ALIGN myself better with what I want to DO, which I am decoupling from (and still appreciating the overlap in) what I do for money.
*The debate in the comments to this tweet point to the idea this sentiment was previously noted by the late Amos Tvsersky, whose Nobel-prize winning work I love, though I admit I like Shane’s packaging better.
Here on the corner of my computer screen, I have a little piece of a sticky note with the following on it:
Interested > Interesting
Meaning, being interested is better than being interesting. And, if you’re in the people business, or have any personal relationships that are important to you, this is good advice.
It comes from Mark Goulston, Author of Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
This is a great book and, for me, has been instrumental in me trying to really deepen some personal relationships as well as going farther to develop connection with the people I work with, both as candidates, hiring managers and as just other great humans I want to know better.
The whole book is interesting. Mark, who trains hostage negotiators, opens the book with a pretty intense confrontation between a man threatening to commit suicide in a mall parking lot. You see two kinds of negotiations take place. The “Hey, you’re in big trouble so put the gun down” kind that we see on TV and a much different approach that diffuses the situation and brings a peaceful resolution — listening.
One challenge I admit that I have in listening better is, well, asking questions. It sounds funny, but I sometimes get stuck just knowing what I should be asking someone!
So, from my notebook to yours, here are some fantastic tips you should hold on to. Let me know how it goes? I am definitely curious! ?
Great Questions You Can Ask Anyone To Show You Are Interested
“What are you trying to accomplish that’s important to you in your career (business, life, etc.)?” ￼
“Why is that important to you?” ￼
“If you were to accomplish that, what would it mean to you and what would it enable you to do?”
In personal relationships—for instance, at a party or on a first date—questions like these can often trigger a heartfelt response: ￼
“What’s the best (or worst) part of (coaching your kid’s soccer team, being away from home, etc.)?” ￼
“What person has had the biggest influence on your life?” ￼
“Is that the person you’re most grateful to? If not, who is?” ￼
“Did you ever get a chance to thank that individual?” (If the person asks, “Why are you asking these questions?,” you can say: “I find giving people the chance to talk about who they’re grateful to brings out the best in them.”) ￼
Mark goes on to talk about how he tries to get people to respond to questions that include how they feel, what they think and what they did or would do. He mentions in passing that you can use the initials of those phrases, FTD, and the name of the popular fast florist delivery company of the same initials as a way to remember the formula.
“I know that when people ask me questions that generate all three of these answers, I feel known by them in ways that I usually don’t if we’re talking exclusively about what we feel or what we think or what we did or would do.,“ Mark continues.
He finishes with these sage words that I am trying to take to heart day by day.
Much of who we are is composed of what we feel, think, and do, so when we’re in conversations where we get to express all three, we feel more satisfied. Eventually, one of your questions will click and you’ll see the person lean forward eagerly to tell you something with enthusiasm or intensity. When that happens, do the right thing: Shut up. Listen. Listen some more. And then, once the person reaches a stopping point, ask another question that proves that you heard (and care about) what the person said.”
Try this tip out and let me know how it goes!
Read The Book:
Editor’s Note: The links to Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston in this article reference Amazon.com with an affiliate code. Using this link helps to support our services. However, if you’d prefer to go directly to the book page on Amazon, this link is affiliate free !
I have a mug that says this on the side in cute, right-aligned, lower case serif letters:
let the adventure begin
The alignment, the blatant disregard for conventional spacing, capital letters and punctuation give it a playfulness I love and I find makes my heart smile a little each time I read it.
Does ‘work’ feel adventurous to you?
In a small way, isn’t this what work could feel like, too? I can hear the voices of droning mall-store bosses lecturing well-rehearsed ted-talks on the merits of hard work and thats-whats-wrong-with-your-generation speeches, but aside from all of those sounds, let’s just ponder for a moment.
What if work actually did feel adventurous?
I think, if you look around at the people you admire in your field*, the ones who make it look effortless, I think you will find one thing they have in common is, almost a sense of wonder that they get to do what they do and, perhaps, a sense of awe as if the things that seem to just “go right” for them, they never would have expected.
*Side note: If you don’t see anyone in your field you admire, that might be your sign ?
Now Is the Best Time to Have an Adventure
The world is freaking out right now, and, well, they should be. There are some seismic shifts happening in the world today.
But you don’t have to freak out and wring your hands
Let me show you why:
As I write this, the world is trying to re-awaken economically from the COVID—19 pandemic. We still don’t know what will happen and, in the United States, with official unemployment numbers topping 14% (as of May 8, 2020), people estimating the real number is much higher and could climb as high as 25% before this is said and done, there is a lot to be mindful about. The first part of that is it means we are undergoing a once-a-century forced reset of how our economy works at all.
Many of the great companies of our time have come about during times of economic downturns. Facebook, Microsoft, Disney, Trader Joe’s… its a long list. And, look, you don’t have to be the next Warren Buffett to see an opportunity to work on something you feel passionate about and, since some of the people you trust to work with you are also out of work, why not!?
Passion Doesn’t Mean Travel OR Entrepreneurship. It Means Being On Purpose
Don’t get me wrong, there’s something deceptively alluring to packing your bags and moving to Taiwan for a year and hoping everything works out financially, but you don’t have to start a company or go traveling the world to match your work with your passions.
If you can choose, purposefully, the things you will do and will not do in your life from this day forward, you will have a singular advantage over every other person working for a buck in the world who does whatever they’re told, won’t say no, then complains to everyone about how their life feels soul-sucking and useless.
Your advantage? You will be doing things on purpose.
But—that doesn’t mean glamorous, either.
But it does mean actively choosing.
I know plenty of people who purposefully do very difficult things today so they don’t have to do those things forever.
I also know several who gladly give up certain perks and benefits of a cushy white collar lifestyle so they can have other things more important to them, like family time or being able to volunteer when and where they want.
So… What Do You Love?
For me, this question surfaced recently in a raw and powerful way. I made the choice in 2005 to fully dive into recruiting as a way of life and I have not looked back.
Now, 15 years and recruiting for fantastic companies and meeting thousands of incredible humans later, I find myself asking what is next? The next job req? The next placement? Those things still bring passion and fire in my belly, but I find myself scratching at something more… something just beyond that which I still have not quite uncovered but it has me, and this is critical—
I realized that I have mastered a series of recruiting behaviors in my career that can both help anyone become a master recruiter and can help any recruiting team do their best at keeping hiring more human, solving the problems of bias in their workplaces, being more inclusive, and welcoming.
Finally, I realized that my true passions lie around recruitment automation and helping companies minimize the processes that computers can do and instead maximize the things humans are best at doing.
All of these things do not take me away from recruiting, and I will never stop having candidate conversations as often as I can to fill those interesting roles, but I do think I can have even more excitement in my work as I follow these paths to more adventurous outcomes than simply keyword searching for candidates and repetitively busting out linkedin messages will get me.
These are the things I love… now your turn
Perhaps you need to take a walk or a hike, sit on a mountain or in a quiet room and think about the things you want and the things you love.
How can you marry those things with the things you do? When you step back, what is it about the things you get very excited about which you can replicate? Is it process management? The chance to be creative? Closing a deal? Seeing the balance sheet work out perfectly? Consider these signals and follow them closely.
Follow my lead and work to proactively choose to say YES to the things on your list of things you love and NO to the things you don’t.
Write down your things. Each time you feel you are forced to sacrifice one of your long-term loves because of a short-term necessity, write it don on a sheet you can recall. Go back in a month, three months or six months. Have things changed? Ask for them to change again and see what happens.
If you consciously push on these boundaries of things you’re asked to do versus things you love doing, and do this for five years straight, you will be living a MUCH DIFFERENT LIFE than you are now.
Which is good, since the world has changed, too.
— Written by Robert Merrill 5/18/2020 from near Salt Lake City, Utah #blog #askrobertmerrill
It appears that nearly 70% of Americans on unemployment are earning more than they did in their pre-laid-off jobs. Some as much as 150% more. What does this mean for recruiting and the economic recovery?
Making recruiting entry-level workers even harder than it has been in the past, many people are finding their unemployment benefits outstripping the amounts of money they would have earned had they not been let go.
They cite a report from University of Chicago economists which “estimate that 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings.”
What does this mean for Workers?
I believe there are three factors at play here which can be good and bad for things in the short run, but will end up as major factors in the long term.
The winners in these struggles remain to be seen, but history has a few lessons of its own to share:
We’re in a once-in-a-lifetime reset of the economy
These debts will come due sooner or later (and probably both)
Recruiting & Retention will continue to be challenging in new ways.
Once-A-Century Economic Output Shift
First, I believe we are at the tip of a once-a-century shift in massive economic change. In fifty or seventy years, b-school textbooks will talk about the 2010’s like the last few years before refrigerators took over the ice box business in 1930s America. Those lectures will undoubtedly relate similar harbingers in our time of how none of the significant and profitable ice-trade businesses which boomed in the late 1800s ever made it as a significant player in any sense past 1950.
What does this mean for us? Booming industries that were safe havens for workers and owners alike just months ago may be gone in the next 5-10 years and, except perhaps for
Someone Has To Pay The Bill
The massive, crippling consumer debt problem is going to continue to cause issues in unexpected ways in the next few years.
Smart individuals will work hard right now to find ways to pay off debt and remove unneeded expenses. These short-term benefits in unemployment are intended to be a bridge over troubled waters, not a platform to build on. Mind you, the gravy train will come to the end of the line. Will you be clinging to the freight car when that happens hoping to eek out one more spoonful of gruel, or will you have taken your fair share and moved on to better things leveraging the economic boost for what it was intended for — to keep you from selling plasma to pay your rent — and instead contributing meaningfully to this new post-COVID-world of ours.
End of the day, someone has to pay these bills. Of course, those payments have to come from the backs (and pockets) of taxpayers. If the economic times turn around quickly as some hope, we may see a way to narrowly escape truly challenging times. However, even as it’s predicted these job losses will be felt far into 2021 and beyond, it stands to reason that, like grabbing the store credit card on your way out so you can save 10% on those jeans, as convenient as this all is, the whole world will be economically paying this down for a long, long time.
Recruiting & Retention is going to be harder for entry-level roles
Companies who value their entry-level workers will need to find ways, monetarily or otherwise, to compensate these workers and intent them to work rather than stay home, collect unemployment and “look for work” while golfing, watching NASCAR, etc.
Furthermore, I predict retention will be a killer subject not to far from now, as companies eek out some life, and things seem to have some semblance of settling down, I believe that people who were lucky enough to survive the unemployment cuts in the first place will pack their bags in droves as they realize, with some disdain, that all those glittery perks at their former companies was not, in fact, gold at all when it came down to what really matters to them in their lives.
Staying connected with recruiters during your job search is an important, but often overlooked part of a successful search.
Unfortunately, many candidates make at least these two mistakes in job searching, especially the more panicked they are that they are not going to get a job or they might not find one.
Mistaken Candidate Behaviors with Recruiters
“Spray and Pray” by just applied to as many possible jobs that seem well-paying that you can.
“Play the Field” approach by telling every recruiter that their job is the most-interesting job they are considering.
“Hard to Get” by acting busier than you actually are so recruiters have to work to get ahold of you.
A Mindset Shift
But may I submit that these behaviors are rooted in a scarcity mentality. The reality is that recruiters are trying to help you fill their jobs much more than, somehow, mercilessly denying candidates from perfect roles with maniacal laughter.
“HELP ME, HELP YOU!”
Here are three ways you can immediately get more value out of your relationship with your recruiter and, mercifully, make your transactions more human, too.
Be straightforward and open about your roadblocks, challenges or concerns about the job.
Have transparent and ongoing dialogue with your recruiter about the timing of other opportunities and your likelyhood of taking one of them
Be realistic and upfront about compensation, relocation or visa requirements and any other non-standard requirements you might have.
Be Open With Questions or Concerns
I can’t stress this enough that leading your recruiter on about their job, telling them everything is fine and not bringing up concerns or questions is a bad way to go.
The recruiter’s literal JOB is to resolve concerns and challenges and they can be the best resource for you to get things that others will not know how to get for you. The recruiter is almost-always one of the most candidate-focused people at a company, and knows way more about benefits, features, perks and compensation than nearly anyone else in the company.
Leverage your recruiter’s relationship by first being real with them, sharing your own concerns and then asking questions when you have them. Help them help you.
Ongoing Dialogue about Other Interviews
If you are a skilled candidate, you are interviewing at multiple places. Pretending you’re not, beside being a lie, is a foolish and needless burden you need to carry.
You’re probably already feeling a little self-conscious about your employer finding out you’re looking (something for another discussion), but many candidates pile on the anxiety by also hiding the fact that you can’t interview tomorrow because you’re actually across the country at a flyout interview today and won’t be back until mid-day tomorrow.
Nothing blacklists you faster as a candidate than pretending you’re not interviewing anywhere else only to have a “sudden” offer come “out of nowhere” and it happens to be “with [your] dream company” and also an “offer [you] cannot refuse.”
Queue the excessive eye rolls. If you pull this move, your recruiter will say nice things to you and wish you luck while marking your candidate profile as “NEVER HIRE” and tagging you with “liesthroughtheir_teeth” in the company applicant system. That database will live longer than you. Don’t mess.
Being open with your recruiter about other roles and how soon you might get another offer is both polite and the right thing to do. Help them help you.
Talk About Comp and Any Non-Standard Needs
Finally, you should bring up any non-standard needs you have early in the process. The earlier the better, in fact.
On that note, while you should likely not be the first person to bring up compensation (topic for another time*) in the interview process, you SHOULD bring it up first if you often find out that your expectations are often much higher than what companies are initially expecting. You do NOT want to get into the process and find out they want to pay you 1/3 your value. Full stop.
Outside of this, if you have visa concerns, questions about relocation expenses, other perks or benefits, or you are expecting a leave of one kind or another, bring things up early — as quickly as you can in the process. Your recruiter is your sounding board here. They may tuck things away, or tell you “yes, we do that all the time.” But you do NOT want to get a juicy offer in your hands only to find out they won’t pay relocation or that there’s no commissions draw, or whatever.
Help them help you by being clear about your needs and expectations up front.
Summary, your recruiter’s JOB is to connect you to the right role in the company. This is their passion. Other than that one burger place, filling a role with the right person is their very favorite thing! Sharing your timing, roadblocks, concerns and needs early and often will help them help you land that perfect job, on time, with the right pay (or more)!
So, help your recruiters help you.
That’s what they call, “win, win.”
Note: On compensation, while you should generally not bring it up first, you should enter every conversation, even the first, with an expectation they will ask you. Think of the batteries—your answer needs to be *ever ready! ?