Some people hang on to their jobs forever. Some aren’t sure. They retire, return to work, retire, return. And others leave cold turkey. On my last day of work I believed I’d fit in the second category. A day later, everything changed. I went from, “If you need something, I’m a phone call away,” to “Don’t call. I’m not interested in your problems.” I wasn’t that blunt, but in twenty-four hours, I had lost all desire to work and was ready to enter a new phase of life. Plus, I wasn’t getting any younger. Who would want to hire someone my age?
So why have I spent the last nine years on LinkedIn, a social network for professionals looking for jobs? I first joined while I was working. Maybe consulting jobs would come my way. (This was before I knew I didn’t ever want to work again.) At first, I received a few requests from former colleagues for references and I responded to those. I read the updates from friends’ who’d started new jobs.
Over the years, I stuck with LinkedIn, though my interest waned. And even though it wasn’t particularly interesting, LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, didn’t send six emails reminding me to read someone’s message or tell me a friend posted something that had become old news within hours, and didn’t drive me crazy by flashing reminders on my screen of an upcoming birthday of someone I hardly knew.
No. LinkedIn was just fine…until some company, probably an employment agency, started sending me job announcements every day. The lists included common job titles: corporate bloggers, grant writers, technical writers, along with uncommon ones, such as, remote script writers, import coordinators and content specialists. In time, these announcements joined Trip Advisor, Crate and Barrel, eBay, Nordstrom and PayPal in filling my inbox.
One of the emails suggested I needed to add something to the skills/strengths section of my profile. I wrote “retired” as my strongest skill. Surely this would end the unwanted correspondence. Nope. Next day came opportunities to apply for Regional Vice President, Retirement Sales. Accompanying it was Regional VP Endotherapy. I couldn’t find Endotherapy in the dictionary, so wasn’t sure I met the qualifications.
Today, I learned that cutting ties with LinkedIn is a lot easier, apparently, than cutting ties to Facebook. And as far as I know LinkedIn isn’t connected to any data-gathering operation designed to influence elections. And if you’re looking for a writer’s job, I can testify there are many out there.
The irony is that I write nearly every day on my novel and blog every few weeks. And all for no pay. Maybe I should reconsider one of the jobs listed. And it’s not legal to ask for my age. Right?
Just like you, I’m lingering on Linked In. I even accept some new friend requests. And each time I ask myself why, when the last thing I want is a job? Now that I’m reading Antonio Damasio’s The Strange Order of Things, I ask myself—what are my feelings around this? Nostalgia, pride? I’m fond of my old self image as a professional teacher and trainer in digital writing, I guess. It’s obsolete, but it’s still part of me. (I’m still a professional, but not with a business.) Until I exit from Linked In, I can occasionally glimpse this earlier self, and feel a gentle brush of pleasure.
You’ve convinced me to get out of linked in, Ann.
Linked In, after an initial phase, never really caught on with me. But I’m connected on Facebook, Twitter, and lately, Pinterest. They are all a lot of work, and I feel nagged by some unseen force when I don’t check in for a day or so. But I’m not inclined to end any of them, probably for the same reason you have kept Linked In going!
As always it’s a delight to read you blogs! Best wishes, Gabriela
I was an early adopter to Linkedin, like you thinking it would provide job opportunities after I left teaching. Didn’t happen. The only connections I made through Linkedin were with people I already knew. What good was that going to do for me?? I have made more new friends through my blog and Twitter than with any other social media. Facebook is fun in that I get to keep in touch with school people, students as well as staff. I would never drop Facebook. I dropped Linkedin about 8 years ago.
I never did LinkedIn. . .enjoyed your tale!