Diane Mekota, is a 26-year-old professional, who is moving to Cleveland, Ohio and looking for work. As part of her career search, she sent an invite request on LinkedIn to Kelly Blazek, who runs an online job bank from professionals in Cleveland. Her job bank is considered very successful, thousands of business professionals use it, and Blazek describes herself as a “passionate advocate” for job-seekers.
Mekota’s message to Blazek was a brief description of her education and work experience. However, Mekota received the following message back from Blazek:
Heading: Poor Judgment on your Jobseeking Strategy
We have never met. We have never worked together. You are quite young and green on how business connections work with senior professionals. Apparently you have heard I produce a Job Bank, and decided it would be stunningly helpful for your career prospects if I shared my 960+ LinkedIn connections with you – a total stranger who has nothing to offer me.
Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky. Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26 year old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job.
I love the sense of entitlement in your generation. And therefore I enjoy denying your invite, and giving you the dreaded “I Don’t Know” because it’s the truth.
Oh, and about your request to actually receive my Job Bank along with the 7,300 other subscribers to my service? That’s denied, too.
I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town.
Oh wait – there isn’t one.
You’re welcome for your humility lesson for the year. Don’t ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your network.
Don’t ever write me again.
Mekota shared this email online, and it quickly went viral. In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mekota explained that she did not publish the email to personally attack Ms. Blazek. She published is to show how a senior professional was treating a young professional in a time when job seeking is not an easy task. Mekota was simply trying to put herself out there.
Since Mekota published the email, Blazek has shut down her social media accounts amidst the backlash. Blazek told the Plain Dealer that she was sorry for hurting people. She also said, “Creating and updating the Cleveland Job Bank listings has been a hobby for more than ten years. When it started it was a labor of love for the marketing industry, but somehow it also became a labor, and I vented my frustrations on the very people I set out to help.”
At least one other job seeker has also come forward with a nasty email he received from Blazek after trying to connect with her online.