Social Enterprise

I turned down a six-figure job today

I have been using LinkedIn for about a year. With LinkedIn I have been able to connect with former co-workers and employers. I received an unsolicited invitation the other day to consider a career opportunity that was right up my alley. The pay started at six figures. I turned the job down. Read the post to find out why.

Last year I got serious about launching my consulting business. I have been a tech for umpteen years and decided it was about time to spread my wings a little bit and see if I could fly on my own. I wasn't ready to cut the ties to the 9-5 job but through a series of fortuitous events was able to make arrangements to cut the on-the-job time back to just two days a week so I could keep a steady income and insurance.

The first thing I figured I needed to do was to create my own website and blog. No big deal. I used a standard template in Dreamweaver and had one up and running in a few hours. I created my blog in Blogger. The next thing I needed was to advertise my services. I know, I'll try LinkedIn. I had heard a lot of good things about it and I don't fit into the MySpace or FaceBook crowd, so why not give it a try? I did.

Results from LinkedIn

Wow! I got results right away. The local Chamber of Commerce became a client and then a local computer store started referring customers that they couldn't handle. One of those customers was a local computer consultant who became a partner. I had the Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange skills he needed and he had a lot of existing clients who were growing. Amazing results.

However, the biggest shocker happened just the other day when I received an unsolicited Linked-In e-mail asking if I was interested in a position as an Infrastructure Manager. Sure, I'll bite. How much does it pay? Base salary is a hundred grand. OK, what skills do they require? The email dialog took a serious turn as we went back and forth about requirements, qualifications and responsibilities.

Why I turned the job down

I had to think long and hard if I wanted to go to the next level which would be the phone interview, then the in-person interview and finally the compensation negotiations. I decided against it for several reasons. I don't want to give up the three things I have going now - the job that lets me work from home three days a week, the consulting business I'm just getting started and writing this blog for Tech Republic.

I know some of you are going to call me on this. "Tim, how can you claim you turned a job down when you didn't have an offer?" Would you have read the post if the headline read, "I turned down a phone interview today?" I didn't think so. Cut me some slack. The point of this post is that social networking through LinkedIn works. It's a great idea and changes the whole way I used to beat the bushes for business.

I highly recommend LinkedIn

Toni wrote about using LinkedIn for job hunting in her post today. I swear I was already planning to write about my success with LinkedIn when I saw her post. It fits perfectly. I have been able to hook up with old buddies from previous jobs and re-establish long lost relationships. Everyone moves on and in today's world most techs will have maybe a dozen jobs in their career. I know I have. LinkedIn is a great product.

The best thing about LinkedIn for me is writing and receiving recommendations. In the past I have had to pull recommendations from annual reviews. Several of those are on my website. Today, if I want to add a recommendation to my profile, I can just solicit it from a former co-worker or supervisor. Third party endorsements are so much more effective then tooting your own horn. Do you use LinkedIn? Try it!

Contact me if you want the job

By the way, if you are a qualified IT Manager that can run a large data center for a $400 milion public company in the greater Los Angeles area and are looking for a job, let me know and I'll hook you up with the guy that can get you an interview. Obviously this is a time-sensitive opportunity. Contact me through LinkedIn or shoot me an email through the contact button at the top of this blog. Good luck.

18 comments
HavaCigar
HavaCigar

I stayed in a county park there once. Beautiful, beautiful sunset...and lots of vodka. I remember the sunset, not so much the vodka.

Cinnester
Cinnester

You've done what I tried to do a few years back. I had child support, mounting bills and too much anxiety, so when the job I prayed for actually showed up after 4 months, I took it. Good on you for getting started. I hope your opportunities continue to grow.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Especially if you can limit the number of times you get time overruns. Of course that may be why I'm only making 55K a year, but I don't have ulcers or bad physical or mental health issues either.

dchick
dchick

Tim, Your assessment about Linkedin is well stated. Linked in has become a de-facto social networking tool for business. In your travels, I suggest a book recently recommended to my by a career coach "Career Distinction" by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixon. They highlight sites like LinkedIn.com, Spoke.com and others. But of greater importance, they underscore the importance of establishing an online presence in career management. Even the simple stuff like what are you reading. They suggest you post book reviews on Amazon.com ... when people see your name, they google you ... and these will show up. Having started my own consulting firm in 1999, I affirm the great satisfaction of running your own firm. Satisfied clients, a paper trail of recommendations (solicit a letter from every client) and a "paper deliverable" to every project allowed my firm to be a step above others while I ran it. Congrats on your observations and thank you for being committed to your posts. I'll look forward to your observations. Darren Chick www.LinkedIn.com/in/darrenchick

WiseITOne
WiseITOne

I spend most of my free time (if any) on TR since it has updated info for tech geeks. I have a great job and I don't really know many people so I am not really sure how LinkedIn would help me. I set up an ID but haven't been on there for about a year now. I suppose if I was connected or looking for a job I could use it.

skicat
skicat

Congrats on your decision to continue to pursue a passion. I have an active profile on LinkedIn but I haven't needed to tap the wide resources of the network other than to keep in touch with colleagues from past companies. I do know of a couple people who have had success looking for work through this site. An old college professor once told me... It's who you know that will get you a job and the networking capabilities of LinkedIn and other similar sites are making it easier to keep in touch.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and already you're qualified to determine who's a liar? Why aren't you working for the police department?

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

The demanding requirements of those high-paying positions can indeed be stressful. I worked in a management position at a larger publicly held company earlier in my career. It takes a lot of energy and leaves little for rewarding outside activities. I left that environment for a lower paying, but lower stress position with a smaller company. It is much more rewarding and allows for greater career / life balance. There are some who are highly successful being married to the job but it was not for me. I have other things in life that I want to do besides worry about a large IT shop and all the problems that go along with it. I concur with your assessment: The money is attractive but the stress can be a killer.

rafaelm
rafaelm

I have a profile on there, and have heard of people using it to find consulting gigs and other jobs, I've had no success with it on either front.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I went through the process of signing up and inviting and accepting, but so far, that's all that's happened. I really don't know how I'm supposed to use it to network, but I'd like to. I'm going to read Toni's article and see what advice she has.

aroc
aroc

Especially for a high-stress managerial job? Just wondering...

hlhowell
hlhowell

Get your profile up to date. Make sure you have references. Get the professional image you wish to portray on the space so others know what you have to offer. It helps to have some good solid accomplishments behind you.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

There are those who almost live in LinkedIn but for most of us, once you set it up, it serves as an online resource, always working in the background. In my experience, it functions even better than my website because of the interactivity and recommendations. I don't spend a lot of time in it. I just made sure it was complete with all my past positions and that my summary accurately reflected my passion for what I do. It helps me keep up with former associates and provides an avenue for marketing my services. It seems to work best for those who are doing consulting and contracting. If you are in the job market it is one of the best ways to find potential career opportunities. You can almost pick the company you want to work for and then ask your contacts for introductions. I have associates who use Plaxo, Spoke, and of course FaceBook, but the consensus is that Linked-In produces the best results.

tmalonemcse
tmalonemcse

It is very expensive here, and even more so in the Bay area. Everything seems to be going up - transportation, groceries and housing. Of course, everyone's budget is relative, but a higher salary range would have made the offer more attractive. I have seen positions like that go for $120,000. My reasons for not pursuing the opportunity remain. I am not too keen on high-stress IT management positions any more. I've had enough of that. Even though it pays less, I like the low-pressure environment of small business. It allows me to focus on the local consulting market in my spare time.

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