Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

And You Are Contacting Me...Why?

2010-10-05 00:05:28

Last week I was at work when our internal IM client lit up. I didn't recognize the name, but I've worked with hundreds (if not thousands) of people over the last decade, and it wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that this person got my name from someone else internally. So I politely said "hello".

So, the candidate apologized for the "blind" (meaning "you have no idea who I am but I picked you to help me with this question because you are in the right general organization") contact and proceeded to ask me a question for which I am completely unqualified. I suggested the person contact his HR Generalist and the recruiter assigned to his organization to answer this question, because I am not trained to do so.

I was puzzled, confused, and tried to identify who this person was after I directed him elsewhere. He is in another country, and I could not identify how I might know him from my various roles in recruiting. It truly appeared he chose me at random, which I don't understand because every group has a dedicated HR and Recruiting contact that is easily identifiable via our intranet and their own portal link. ("My HR").

So this got me to thinking about something I've seen a lot of the last few years. Part of it is related to the Recession, but part of it is a breakdown of formal barriers in the workplace.

I've touched on this before, when it comes to professional branding for individuals. In our very connected world, it's prudent to assume that someone you come into contact with one day will be someone you run into down the road in a completely different context. Unless your name is "Jennifer Smith" or "Joe Brown", the chances are that you will be memorable. So it behooves you to make sure that when you are reaching out to professional SME's or resources that you do your homework and know how they can help you. I've already written on how to prepare to help me help you; this is more about generally understanding that when you ask the wrong person the wrong question, you damage your own professional image. That isn't to say that people aren't willing to help out, but before you choose some random person in the address book, do a bit of digging to find out the *right* authority, not just "a/n" authority. Because I promise you that this sort of thing can follow you for a very long time.

Resume - Education vs. Professional Development
Grow Up, Be Respectful

Anna S.: Re: And You Are Contacting Me...Why?
2010-10-25 20:22:31

Actually I have a question on another subject, but I couldn't find a link to contact you through "Recruiter's

I was terminated from my job about eight weeks ago. After more than two years I was finding the work too physically demanding, and had developed some lingering chronic injuries. I had physical therapy and medical verification, and was careful to ask my manager in writing about desk duties or lighter work, but was told that no lighter work assignment was available.

A few days ago I found a job listing for my former job, with a slightly different title, and emphasis on "office support and customer service" rather than the more physical aspects of my old job.

I'm a little angry and hurt, though I don't really want to go back to work for this employer as I was never well-treated there. I've been thinking of terms like "wrongful discharge" but doubt I have anything to gain by making an issue of it.

Is there anything I could or should do about this, other than venting my feelings and getting over it?


Kristen Fife: Re: And You Are Contacting Me...Why?
2010-10-29 19:49:19

Anna, I will answer your question in my column. Thanks. And the email address is:

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