Corporate Adulting — LinkedIn is Not a Dating Site!
I have been engaging more actively on LinkedIn over the last couple of months and have received a higher number than usual of connection requests than in the past. I do not accept every request I receive. I do review requests and have my own set of criteria I normally use to determine if I will accept a new connection. Admittedly, I’ve loosened up a little on the criteria as I’m in the midst of a job search, but I do look to see if there is a logical reason that the person may want to connect based on the person’s profile.
The majority of the requests I receive are because someone has seen one of my articles or posts and we have something in common professionally — I get a lot of requests from former colleagues, people in Fintech, leadership, learning and development, recruiting, etc. These I welcome. What I do not welcome are the connection requests from someone who then turns the connection into an attempt to have a virtual cyber date.
Ironically, the last article I published, Recruiting & Job Searching is Broken, does suggest that there could be some usefulness to taking some best practices from cyber dating to improve the recruiting process. However, I did not intend to imply “dating” in the literal sense.
Here is exactly how the interaction went today between me and a new LinkedIn connection. I think it is relevant to note that I receive 2 or 3 requests of this nature each week. This was one of the more overt ones.
Person: Connection Request
Me (Reviews): Accepted
Person (via Messaging): Hello my dear, how are you doing?
Me: LinkedIn is a professional network. If this is anything other than a professional message with a purpose, I am completely uninterested. I’m doing well, thank you for asking.
Person: Is ok, indeed I know that it is a professional site but that can’t stop us from knowing each other, because it won’t be a bad thing at all.
Me: BLOCK and REPORT
Maybe this seems harsh, but I have been happily married for nearly 27 years and have zero tolerance and even less interest in an interaction that feels sleazy from the outset.
I looked up LinkedIn’s user terms, which say (in part) “Our registered users (“Members”) share their professional identities, engage with their network, exchange knowledge and professional insights, post and view relevant content, learn and develop skills, and find business and career opportunities.”
Here are my expectations about what each of these means to me if I accept you into my network:
· Share Professional Identities: It is my hope that you fill out your profile, including your profile picture, with enough relevant information that others (myself included) can leverage your knowledge when the need arises. There are many times that I have done searches of my network to find someone who has worked for a specific company and/or has a certain set of expertise. Having a complete profile really helps with this.
· Engage with Their Network: I expect you to behave like a gentleman (or lady) and understand that our relationship is strictly for a professional purpose. Any and all attempts to deepen that relationship into anything resembling a romantic attachment will be summarily reported and blocked. If there is ever any occasion that I change my mind (which I do not anticipate), I will join and happily entertain your offer for connection on the relevant dating applications. Until then, it is unwelcome.
· Exchange Knowledge and Professional Insights: I welcome your comments on content I post and appreciate your constructive feedback. I also enjoy seeing your posts that make me and others think more deeply about a topic. Understanding different perspectives has a lot of value and I do not mind if we agree to disagree, but hateful comments will not be tolerated — towards me or anyone else. While I may not comment back, I will certainly remove you from my view.
· Post and View Relevant Content: Please use good judgement when you post to LinkedIn and try to post relevant professional content on LinkedIn. I don’t object to personal content, but I generally don’t expect you to post pictures of your food (unless you are a chef), your pets (unless you are a vet or groomer) or tons of pictures of your kids. If you do so periodically, no big deal, I will likely let it slide most of the time. But I would appreciate it if you do try to keep it relevant.
· Learn and Develop Skills: I really like it when others share upcoming opportunities that I may be interested in. I make it a point to do the same. I also like it when my connections share articles that they have enjoyed. I do not read every one, but I’m more likely to do so if one of my connections shares it with a glowing recommendation and it’s a topic I’m interested in.
· Find Business and Career Opportunities: I want to hear about your successes and your frustrations that are work-related. While I do not see everything from all my connections, I will cheer you on or try to encourage you when I see your post. I would like you to be kind to others and do what you can to help them, particularly if they are hunting for a job. This is a networking application. If you can connect someone to a person in your network that can help, that is awesome. Job search is hard and can be frustrating. Your help may make all the difference to someone who really needs the work.
Special note for salespeople: Bless your hearts. I know you are trying your best to make your numbers or quota. And I really do sympathize. I know sales is hard and high pressure. But, sending me a random message on LinkedIn asking to connect and share your product at 2pm on Tuesday? No thank you. Once I say, “No thank you”, I’m very annoyed if you don’t take “no” for an answer. At that point, I would not buy your product on a bet, so can we please agree that the first time I say “no”, you’ll politely ride off into the sunset? That would be great.
Now that’s not so hard, is it? Just don’t try to date me on LinkedIn and more than likely we will get along just fine. Thanks!
Thanks for reading! Read more of my Corporate Adulting Blog series at https://monicaojendyk.medium.com/.