Thursday, November 08, 2012

Strictly professional: Further reflections on the grown-up Facebook

-I'm kinda liking it. What I like most about Facebook, what keeps me on it, is the rolodex aspect. I'm not saying that's all I use it for, but I on some level think that's all it's good for, and Linkedin pares it down to just that.

-Not sure about the suggested... contacts. (The impulse is to say "friends," yet the purpose is to avoid needing to do so.) I mean, I've exchanged nods with the famous mathematician who lives across the street, but never emails, and I'm quite certain our professional overlap is nil. And of course, as with Facebook, there are the usual let's-move-along-shall-we suggestions (former students, people one went on one date with 100 years ago). I see patterns, but can't figure out where the data come from. Or could but won't be bothered.

-Also massively confused about the etiquette. Because these are contacts and not friends, you don't have to/aren't supposed to add (back) people you know socially, but who aren't in the same field as you? Or is there some kind of character-reference angle, where it helps to show that X-hundred people can vouch for your reasonable-person-ness? I mean, I'm only adding people where there's some kind of professional overlap, and even then feeling altogether pushy, but you know.

-The photo aspect is odd - like a French CV. (So I went with a picture taken in a Brussels Pain Quotidien. Close enough.) As is the prompt to say what year you graduated from college. Is this courting age-based discrimination? (Along similar lines, a posting for a very interesting writing job - job, not internship - notes that medical benefits aren't part of the deal. Is this because up to 26, that's now often taken care of? Is it, in other words, a way of saying the elderly, i.e. late-20-somethings, need not apply? Or is this just, as PG once helpfully noted in the comments, verbal skills aren't all that marketable?)


PG said...

Medical benefits may not be part of the deal because they involve a kind of hassle of bureaucracy, paperwork and set of legal rights that this employer may not want to offer from the get-go. Group insurance is much more complicated than simply cutting a paycheck.

As for LinkedIn, my general rule is to add only professional contacts, though I'm a little wider than just people in my immediate field; e.g. I figure someone getting her MBA and with an entrepreneurial bent may be in a position to hire long-term counsel later. And I just accepted a connection with a non-lawyer with whom I used to work. But I'll refuse LinkedIn invites from people who are already friends on FB if they're doctors (I'm never gonna do med-mal) or otherwise professionally irrelevant to me.

Phoebe said...

Yes, I get that when a place doesn't offer benefits, it's because they don't want to. But it's also because they don't *need* to, and can still get the people they want to hire. So it could either be, there are enough people who so want this job that they don't care if their employer provides coverage. But it could also be two birds with one stone - that the candidates sought are under 26, and if that means less money/hassle for the company, so be it.

Ooh, and one more Linkedin question - do you use the thing where you can see who's looked at your profile and vice versa? I'm tempted to, because it's very obviously not that I'm socially/romantically pursuing these people. But it kind of freaks me out.

PG said...

I use the thing to see who's checked my profile when I'm looking for a job, because I want to be aware of who might be Googling me after getting a resume or application. Otherwise, I don't because I don't really care. My LinkedIn account switches from paid to unpaid and back again based on whether a job search is on.

"But it's also because they don't *need* to, and can still get the people they want to hire."

Sure, but some people prefer to be paid more and decide for themselves how to spend that money on health care. One of my friends in Texas is strongly opposed to the PPACA because she thinks it was a good thing that she could go through her 20s without health insurance, and now the government will force her to have it, force employers of more than 50 people to offer it, and thereby make it less likely that she'll be hired and that her wages will be as high as they otherwise might be. (*I* remember her 20s as when she was in a car wreck that nearly killed her and used a lot of emergency health care services, but whatever.)

Phoebe said...

"Sure, but some people prefer to be paid more and decide for themselves how to spend that money on health care."

Perhaps so, but I hardly think that's what's going on here. This is a case of, it's a glamorous and I'd assume low-paid job, and its target audience already would have been UMC recent college grads.