For Career’s Sake, No Sex on the First Date

May 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm 4 comments


My beloved Grandma Ruth used to give me great old world advice on dating.   Grandma Ruth would constantly remind me why it wasn’t a good idea to sleep with a man before marriage:

“Why would he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?”

Applying Grandma Ruth’s sentiment to your career makes sense. 

My career is in recruiting and career search strategy.  Selling is a big part of it and I am an open “networker” by choice.  This doesn’t mean I will share my entire Rolodex with you or accept any kind networking abuse.    I NEED to be in a committed relationship first (watch Millionaire Matchmaker” for her advice).  

So last week I accepted a nice personalized LinkedIn invite from Joe Smoe (I changed his name to protect his true identity).    I didn’t really know Joe but he knew someone in my network.  I sent a nice reply introduction and thank you back.  

What happened next shocked me.  Joe Smoe sent me a lengthy InMail back that read (I changed the company name as well):

“Thanks for linking up with me. I am a strong advocate of networking and hope we can help each other now that we have established our relationship on Linked In.

By way of further introduction, my firm Acme Recruiting Corp has been in existence for the past 15 years and we have a very unique value proposition for our clients. We provide our clients with executive search services on an hourly basis. No large fees, no retainers, no bills for multiple hires. Just pay for the hours invested in the assignment.

We are generating savings for our current clients in excess of 80% (benchmarked against a 20% contingency fee). It is a very compelling story and we have worked for corporate clients both large and small. We have also served all industries and all functional areas.

So here is my first request for assistance. Can you refer me to any HR executive, recruiter, talent acquisition professional who either could use some help now or who would be interested in learning more about our company for future recruiting initiatives.

Eventually, the hiring trend will turn positive and I don’t know anyone who would not like to save some money will getting their positions filled.

Thanks and Happy Networking

Joe Smoe”

After rolling on the floor with great laughter, I sent Joe a nice note back. 

It was short and sweet and to the point:

“Hi Joe,

I read your note and of course I would love to give you potential target client leads and contact info. But first you’ll need to hire me.”

Nothing further from Joe.   No job offer.  No phone call.  Nothing.

Was I off base here?    After all this is what I do for a living.  I’m a recruiter and offer the same services as Joe.  So why would I give him my professional Rolodex without a mutual professional commitment?

“What’s in it for ME?”

Maybe I should have thanked Joe for giving me the idea to write the post Bad Naked after that.  But instead I dumped him from my LinkedIn contacts for fear he’d try to abuse others in my network.

“Don’t give it away for free” as my Grandma Ruth would say.  Boy, I do miss her no nonsense advice.

What do you think of Grandma Ruth’s advice?


Entry filed under: business, Job Hunting, Networking, social media. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Excuse Me Job Seekers, Please “Mind your P’s & Q’s” and Thank you… Wishing “Happy Mother’s Day” to Mom for All the Wonderful Things She Tolorates

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. audrey613  |  May 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Once again, a great post!

    Audrey Chernoff

  • 2. suburbanites  |  May 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Oh my!

    This is only one of the things I’ve seen as an Open Networker as well. Business opportunities that are almost mercenary in nature, or even requests for endorsement from people with whom I have only a scant association.

    I do believe in paying it forward and goodwill in the hopes that karma really does exist, and that’s certainly why I’ve chosen to network openly, but it doesn’t mean that I would simply pass along unqualified requests to first and second-level connections for fear that those can reflect poorly on me too. Your analogy is spot on, and I’m certainly glad that I’m not alone in thinking that.

    Thanks for keeping my faith alive that there are good recruiters still around.

  • 3. recruitinganimal  |  May 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    First, that’s a great picture of you and your grandmother. Very flattering.

    Second, regarding sex and cows your grandmother is wrong, obviously.

    Third, that guy is a good writer. That was a terrific letter. But I’m wholly in agreeance wif you. An appropriate reply would have been two words that your grandmother might have told you not to use – or might have indulged in the odd time herself.

    Here’s Harry Joiner, the marketing headhunter on a similar request.

    In case the link doesn’t work (and you want to listen).

  • 4. humanresourcespufnstuf  |  May 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I wrote a blog on linkedin etiquette the other day, for the very same reason. I don’t mind helping someone out that I have a relationship with (relationship by nature is not superficial, and being a random connection is superficial), but I LOVED your response. Brilliant.

    As to your grandmothers advice, I will counter with my grandfathers advice: Don’t buy a car unless you test drive it first.


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