You’re Doing It Wrong

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” 

I’ve always thought that tune would be a great first dance at a wedding.

I think about a lot of things. Last night, I thought about how you remove an errant stingray from a fishing pole while wearing Kevlar gloves. I wondered whether I could successfully bake cupcakes in my InstaPot. I thought about my friend in Mongolia, who just learned to milk a horse. I wondered whether only female horses can be milked and if I could buy horse milk in Boulder, Colorado. I restlessly combed the Internet for nothing. Inevitably I stumbled into the claws of LinkedIn, and I began to think about a lot of other things. 

To start, when will the next heinous platform debut to prevent the job seeker and networker in their quests to participate in the workforce? Or to allow them to write thoughts for others, racking up “likes” to climb the ranks to “Thought Leader.” 

There is a lot of content on Linked ‘N, though you can find much of the same advice on Pinterest (plus recipes and more colorful language). 

1. First, there are quotes to assure you that if you work hard enough, you’ll succeed. That is a lie. Also, ramblings about self-care, undefined. Lots of “tough love:” get up, try again, try harder, little bit harder, keep going. Are you completely exhausted and somewhere between defeat and unable to Link In another day? What are you? A baby? You’ve got to WANT IT. Loser.


2. Next, there are the rants about Human Resources and recruiters—these writhing, selfish maggots who exist only to gnaw at flesh and spew oxygen on the flames that destroy hope in Open-to-New-Opportunities Hell. You’ll find over one thousand comments on a single post about whether a candidate should send a thank you note following an interview (the answer is YES). At least 900 people will comment NO; does the recruiter send you a thank you note for taking time out of your day to meet with people who are legitimately interested in you and how you can solve their pain? 


Oh, and speaking of recruiters. They never return phone calls. 


The litany of complaints goes on and on and ON. A suggestion on how to improve the process will be met with stony silence. A THANK YOU note? Please. How gauche. Tacky. Inappropriate. Old-fashioned. At least one person will refer to a woman as an “old biddy.” (That person is you.) Besides, you’ll never get an interview anyway due to number 1, above: you really aren’t trying. 


3. Peppered throughout your “feed” are merchants peddling their wares, much like a Renaissance fair but minus the turkey legs and princess crowns (more on hairstyles below). Coaches, mentors, writers, storytellers, and various other people with titles who offer services that you never knew you needed until you read those clickbait articles in Forbes or on Ladders or Inc. The ones that hammer at your confidence and soul until finally, you realize just how incompetent you are, and $5,000 starts to sound reasonable for assistance in locating and applying for a job that according to number 2, as previously mentioned, you’re never going to get because recruiters suck and we all know you don’t REALLY want to be employed. What to do?


Open your wallet.


4. If you are a woman, then you will find an extensive offering of everything that is wrong with you once you reach a “certain age” and suggestions to offset the decline in your intelligence and employability that naturally occur by law. 


For example, your hair is wrong. You will be presented with three or four images of “flattering” hairstyles appropriate for “women over 40.” These women will look nothing like you. The make-up you wear to your interview will make or break your career, so a site will advise you on how to correctly conceal your age and the lipstick that is most flattering for women of a certain age (50 shades of beige). 


As for clothing, you will want to look professional, so the colors navy and brown are recommended. Be careful with color, though, since it may clash with your cosmetics and reveal personal details such as experience and competency. The overall theme is not to offend, while still owning and expressing your expertise and authenticity in the most inauthentic ways possible. 


You’ve got to want it.


5. Finally, there is networking. This means that in order to get a job, you need to know someone who can get you that job. Of course, this is not what civil rights laws or the ADEA or EEOC intended but see number 2: recruiters suck, and face it, you can’t make it on your own. Who do you think you are, Laverne and Shirley? We’re gonna do it! 


Not you.


You will want to connect with as many people as possible, even if you don’t know them, don’t care about them, or they called you a biddy when you championed the thank you note. You want numbers here, and if you don’t know how to network, another $5,000 will help you learn. Increasing your contacts will give the appearance that you are someone, you are an authority, and despite your shortcomings, you can create an electronic rolodex. You have vision and understand strategic pain. 


You will not get a job this way.


Never mind, you simply need to try harder and be younger and think interestingly and post the same Steve Jobs quote about hiring people and not micromanaging them. And for God’s sake, not THOSE shoes. You’re a mess.


Or, you can Link Out.