You can thank Cleveland’s “Communicator of the Year”, Kelly Blazek, for inspiring this blog post regarding how to fail miserably at connecting on LinkedIn. It’s also a cautionary tale regarding the endless lifespan of online content.
Ms. Blazek runs a popular online job bank for Cleveland professionals. A self proclaimed “passionate advocate” for job-seekers, Kelly’s “passion” was aimed elsewhere when she chewed out Diana Mekota, a 26-year-old job seeker, for trying to connect with her via LinkedIn:
Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky,” Blazek wrote, according to Mekota’s post. “Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26-year-old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job.”
“I love the sense of entitlement in your generation,” she wrote, then continued. “You’re welcome for your humility lesson for the year. Don’t ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your network.”
Don’t ever write me again.
After reading Kelly’s response, I wondered what Diana could write to induce such a scathing response. I know what it’s like to receive annoying LinkedIn requests, we all do, but really? According to CNN, Diana sent Kelly a short request detailing her education, professional and volunteer activities and she was only asking to join Kelly’s 7300 member jobs list.
Kelly has since apologized, deleted her Twitter account and her WordPress blog.
There is no excuse for this type of behaviour, period. It doesn’t matter what personal issue you’re dealing with, negative responses such as these are out of the question. I’m actually flabbergasted at this response – Kelly is guilty of doing exactly what she accused Diana of doing in the first place. Her response most likely tanked her career as well.
I recently wrote an article, Do You Really Want to Send That Flaming Email or Text?, that I hope Kelly gets a chance to read.