Q. I have an issue that I don’t really know how to handle. I set up an account with a well-known networking site for professionals a couple of years ago. At the time, I was very unhappy with my position and when I set up the account, I checked off the box saying “contact me for career opportunities.” I have since left the job, and modified my profile to remove that information. About six months into working in my current position, I started receiving phone calls AT WORK for job opportunities. I should probably point out that I do not have my work contact information posted on the website. When I ask where they got my information, they name the website. I tell them to stop calling, and that my calls are monitored here, and I don’t appreciate them calling me through the main number. That still doesn’t stop them. I have received over 20 of these phone calls in the last 6 months and don’t know what to do about it. I have even modified my profile to say “Do Not Call Me At Work.” My company monitors everything we do, and I don’t want my boss to think I’m looking for a new job. Should I bring this issue up with my boss before someone else brings it up?
A.While the specifics of your situation are a challenge, the concept of avoiding an issue at work with the hope it goes away almost never works. So first, let your boss know the situation you are in and the problems you are having with this website. This is vital to protecting a positive relationship with your manager. You do not want him or her to hear about these calls from anyone else at the company who may jump to conclusions that you are conducting a job search, and doing so on company time.
Trying to fly under management radar when issues come up often causes more problems than the original issue people were trying to avoid. Your conversation needs to address the issue, let your manager know the actions you have taken, offer some additional ideas for resolution, and maybe ask for more ideas or support to ensure the issue is resolved. Regardless of the issue, this model has offered more positive reactions from managers than negative – so practice!
As far as the website, remove your profile. Though you don’t have your work contact information on the site, it is easy to call a main number of any company, and good staffing consultants will make every effort to find a person they may be able to place. You can tell many people not to call, but others will follow if you have a posted profile.
When these calls come, you can politely let the caller know that you do not take solicitation calls at work, and disconnect. Any monitoring of your calls will reflect your professional handling of intrusive and uninvited calls. When these calls stop occurring – you can consider reposting a profile if you believe it will be beneficial to your career.