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Why #OpenToWork on LinkedIn is #Awful

In short: It takes advantage of the participants. It is inefficient, ineffective and dangerous. It paints a very visible “kick me” sign right on your face and creates an underserved bias. Law enforcement, criminals, sharks and lions alike would classify this visible branding as a “soft target.”

In a perfect world, everyone on social networks would genuinely want to connect, help each other and do business. Every business / potential employer would do the right thing and value “you” for who you are and how you can learn and grow.

This is NOT a perfect world. Although the intentions behind #OpenToWork might have been admirable from the onset, it is doing individuals a disservice. Furthermore, the fact LinkedIn describes #OpenToWork as a “tool to help job seekers” is laughable.

Many people are already destitute or on the verge of overwhelming financial difficulties. Some are even feeling completely hopeless, but they keep going forward. They keep trying every day. They listen to social media influencers and gurus who are misguiding them. At this point many are willing to “compromise” and take any work. They’ll convince themselves: it’s a great company and I can work my way up the ladder again.

Confidence is rightfully dwindling. Especially as a result of “networking” with unresponsive or disingenuous potential employers and colleagues. People are not protecting their “mindset.” They are being bombarded with so much information, whether it is good, bad or indifferent; it’s entirely overwhelming and too much.

One of the BEST strategies is to “appear” to be “strong.” Achieve this by staying true to who you are and “providing value.” No one needs to know that you can’t buy your daughter anything for her birthday or that you have no food in the house other than canned tuna, or are 15 days away from eviction. Anything that can be perceived as despair, weakness, fear; these are all potential liabilities and make you vulnerable in an unkind and turbulent world.

If you are #OpenToWork... keep that “inside” and take that green border off of your profile picture. Start creating content that is beneficial to or specifically for people/corporate entities. Copy them into a LinkedIn post you created and share. Connect with members of a company’s HR Team or Talent Acquisition Managers. Don’t ask for a job or even apply to any. Get them on YOUR radar by HELPING them and let them come to the only logical conclusion: you are an asset and they want you to be a part of their team.

Or continue to run with the herd and #Kowtow. Subscribe to this bumpersticker mentality which both consciously and unconsciously pigeonhole you from the onset. Receive less than you are worth and entitled to by branding yourself within one encompassing hashtag: #OpenToWork.

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