Skip to main content

Networking and Employment

I'm finding I don't build large social networks online, at least not compared to other people I know. My Facebook account occasionally rises above 100 connections, but seldom for more than a few days. My LinkedIn network is relatively small, with no recommendations. The same holds for other social networks such as Yahoo, Google, and LiveJournal. I simply don't randomly add people to my network -- not even acquaintances.

The job hunt reminds me that I should expand these networks. HR departments check these connections, whether we like that reality or not. Being "social" does matter to some academic departments, too, especially if you are applying for "new media" teaching posts.

I suppose I could "request" every classmate from high school through my doctoral studies, but most are not people I remember. Those I do remember, it is often for reasons that leave me disinclined to add the individual. I've never been a social butterfly, and the online world makes that rather obvious.

It's strange to think that people care if I have 20 "friends" or 2000, though I do know evidence exists that this matters in careers like sales and marketing. It somehow seems odd to add people I couldn't possible consider real friends, but I do need to seem more active.

A basic truth is that knowing people leads to opportunities, especially for a freelance writer and consultant. So, I am going to attempt to expand my networks. If you are LinkedIn or some other network, maybe you'd like to "connect" with me. Apparently, it is the modern way to build a Rolodex of contacts.


  1. The job market really has changed in recent years. My local paper no longer lists any job openings in the Classifieds, but refers you to their online service. I'm just glad I'm retired, and don't have to worry about it anymore.

    But, good luck to you.

  2. I'm quite surprised that, as part of an HR investigation there would be an investigation that looked into your online network? Is this what is happening? There has been some push and marketing by Linkedin to get corporations to have their professionals create these profiles, we had a representative of the website visit us to extol its virtues. I've refused because frankly, I have no interest in having some crazed person stalking me because of something I may have said on the internet which is all too common if you voice opinions on autism.

  3. An AP article last week indicated 83% of surveyed HR departments use LinkedIn and a stunning 92% perform complete "online persona" checks via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I know many universities check, because some people on interview panels have had printed pages from my websites and blogs with them.

    Because I'm in "new media," the background check is assumed. And the more "connected" you are to others in the field or related fields, the more perceived value you have to a university or corporation.

    Social connections matter, however shallow / tenuous they are. Of course, tenure is all about having a reputation in the research field or publications of the discipline.


Post a Comment

Comments violating the policies of this blog will not be approved for posting. Language and content should be appropriate for all readers and maintain a polite tone. Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?"

A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius.

I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include:
Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include She…

Listen… and Help Others Hear

We lack diversity in the autism community.

Think about what you see, online and in the media. I see upper-middle class parents, able to afford iPads and tutors and official diagnoses. I see parents who have the resources to fight for IEPs and physical accommodations.

I see self-advocacy leadership that has been fortunate (and hard working, certainly) to attend universities, travel the nation (or even internationally), and have forums that reach thousands.

What I don't see? Most of our actual community. The real community that represents autism's downsides. The marginalized communities, ignored and excluded from our boards, our commissions, our business networks.

How did my lower-income parents, without college educations, give me a chance to be more? How did they fight the odds? They did, and now I am in a position of privilege. But I don't seem to be making much of a difference.

Demand that your charities seek out the broadest possible array of advisers and board members.…

Life Updates: The MFA Sprint

Life is okay, if more than a little hectic at the end of this first month.

With one month down, I'm 11 months away from my MFA in Film and Digital Technology. Though things might happen and things do go wrong, so far I'm on schedule and things are going well —— though I'm exhausted and working harder than I did for any other degree. Because the MFA requires projects every week, this isn't as easy to schedule as writing. Even researching a paper can be done from the comfort of home, at any hour.

You cannot make movies by yourself, at any time of day. It doesn't work that way. Filming takes time, and often requires a team of people. It's not comparable to working alone on a degree in writing or rhetoric.

The team-based nature of film is exhausting for me, but I enjoy the results. I also like the practical nature of the skills being taught. You either learn how to adjust ISO, f/Stop, shutter speed, and other variables or you don't. You can have theories …