I was reading about blogger Geoffrey Abraham (an advertising copywriter in Portland, Ore.) who has come out solidly against using social engineering tools to announce you've been laid off. He said:
"I can understand that what I am witnessing is a sign of the times. In real time. I can even imagine these downtrodden folks thinking, 'Hey, I have a lot of friends in here. Maybe one of them can get me a job.' But nothing is less attractive than desperation."
After reading that, I had to wonder: If I'm following you on Twitter and you share with me your every trip to the supermarket or tire store, why would you be afraid the mention of a layoff would send me running? And why would you be afraid of losing any of the people identified as Facebook "friends" or Twitter followers anyway?
While it's true no one wants to be taken down the path of gloom every time they check in on you (e.g., "Today, like yesterday, and as it will no doubt be tomorrow, was an empty chasm of despair as I face each day friendless and unemployed."), you can mention a job hunt without totally alienating everyone you've ever met. Everything in moderation.
I would not, at the very least, be afraid of appearing desperate if it means getting the word out to 400 of your closest acquaintances that you're looking for a job. That's what networking is all about.
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Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.