Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Job Seekers Can Destroy Networking Goodwill By Cyber-Glomming

I see this at just about every networking event, and even online – The glommer.

You’ve experienced the glommer at parties and hopefully you’re not a glommer yourself. The glommer is someone who over-capitalizes your time, who overstays their welcome with you, who just won’t let you talk to others no matter how politely you try to leave.

Instead of building goodwill with you, job seekers who are glommers destroy it.

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How likely are you to take the glommer’s call after a networking event? How likely are you to refer the glommer to your friends and contacts? Would you suspect the glommer would also glom onto them?

Today job seekers who are glommers are more rampant.

Some job seekers often don’t even realize that they’re glomming - it’s usually not done on purpose. Job seekers are having a tougher time of these days - some are desperate, and desperate people occasionally don’t think through their actions as clearly.

You don’t just have to go to a party or networking event to find glommers. Today, glommers can find you … online.

The online glommer takes your willingness to help a little (or a lot) too far. An online glommer is someone who friends you on Facebook, and then tries to friend everyone in your company at the same time. You find out about it because 10 of your friends all ask you if you know this person who sent each of them a friend request – within a week’s time span. You can bet that some of those friends will end up asking why you referred that glommer to them.

Linkedin can be a haven for job seeker who are online glommers, and one found me last week.

Now don’t get me wrong … I’m an open networker, happy to connect people who are respectful, honest and ask politely. I view it as karma, paying-it forward, and believe “what goes around, comes around.” It’s part of the online reputation I’ve built, as someone willing to help.

The glommer took it 10 steps too far.

I’m happy to help a person who asks for my help after they have researched my contacts, finds one or two people they would like to reach, explains their purpose, and sends an introduction request through Linkedin’s system. That’s not glomming because it’s reasonable, respectful, transparent, and they’ve demonstrated behavior that’s not likely to embarrass me when I refer. Plus they've done their homework, to make it easy for me to help.

On the other hand, the glommer that contacted me last week first sent me a string of emails asking me to research my database for people that might help them in varying industries … rather than doing the research himself. He wasn’t asking if I could help them reach a specific person – that would have been fine. Instead, the glommer asked me to invest time to research my own database of 22M Linkedin contacts to see who could help him. That’s not very likely – I’m far too busy to do a candidate’s job search for them, unless they’ve contracted for my time to outsource part of their search.

After I politely suggested to the glommer that he could research my network and send Linkedin invitations, he did exactly that - 10 times ... in the time span of an hour. I wonder how he’s going to treat those he’s asked me to refer.

What would you do? Would you connect a glommer to 10 of your friends or loose connections?

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Related Articles:
Networking Mistakes - Don't be THAT GUY at your holiday party
Why "Networking Doesn't Work"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I followed some blog links today and landed here, and after reading this page, plan to revisit! Although this post was published several months ago, I'll chime in on it.

It can be difficult to maintain a good balance between persistence and annoyance when searching for a job. However, the actions you described were clearly outside the realm of common courtesy. I would not connect such a person to my contacts unless I was tired of having professional relationships. When faced with similar situations, I always hold on to hope that a language or cultural barrier exists that I'm unaware of. I hate thinking that someone can be so blatantly irritating!