As a developer and as ParisRB’s organiser, I often get asked to pass on offers to “my network”.

First, I have a policy on that too often with red flags, but let’s suppose it’s not the problem here.

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What is a network? What is yours? What can you do with it?

If your network is just a loose set of LinkedIn connections gained through business cards exchange and knee-jerk reaction to connect, you cannot ask these people anything:

  • they won’t remember you and your proposal has no weigh
  • they will have no second thoutght in blocking you if you spam
  • they won’t get up for you at 3AM in the morning like you’re their best friend

Or it can be a network of trust. You are skilled, a connector, or both. You don’t chase people, people chase you because they know you always have good things in store.

In this position, forwarding low-value things is a reputation killer. Forwarding a valued thing that you do not endorse might too: like giving a birthday cake that’s not fitted to the recipient’s taste; or rotten/poisonous dessert.

It’s like retweeting some witty word and finding out the author or the twitterer have very opposing political views from your own.

Forwarding shouldn’t mean strict endorsement, but the whole experience is nonetheless attached to the forwarder: his honesty, trustworthiness and respectability are at stake.

To forward anything, you should then do actual and painstakingly long and hard research on offers you get. You probably don’t have time for all of these, so you will often have to cut those who are not clear enough upfront, and, well… recruiter is a full-time job.

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So let me rephrase what you ask of me when you want to use “my network”: you’re asking me to spam my friends, and people I took a long time to build trust with, and forward an offer with so little information I simply risk to lose that quality network.

Thanks, but no thanks.