Woke up this morning to a ton of extra work – my e-mail account was hacked into and apparently I was in Scotland without cash and a passport. Of course the final sentence of the poorly written e-mail was the location where you should send money. This really is an inconvenience but also very frightening since a year ago the same thing happened to our son who is in Asia and that e-mail threatened his life!
Thankfully I was able to change my password almost immediately and now have control over my account again. However, in retrospect it has been a wonderful technique to hear back from many friends, colleagues and family members inquiring about the validity of the scam and asking why they weren’t invited to join me in Scotland. The funniest line from a contact was how an Association Exec in transition could justify splurging on a vacation in Scotland?
I have had numerous phone calls and e-mails today and though it certainly wasn’t my plan of attack, it has given me the opportunity to communicate with folks I haven’t spoken to in awhile. I was able to update friends and colleagues about my current state and ask them to keep on the look-out for anything that might be interest for me. What a great plan; too bad I didn’t think of it myself!
If anything, this situation emphasizes the fact that when you are in a job search that you need to keep your friends and contacts updated on your situation and it doesn’t hurt touching base with them periodically. After all, they may indeed have a lead for you.
What this e-mail scam also highlights is the importance of segregating your social contacts from your business contacts. Thankfully, most of my employment inquiries are sent via a different account and I now will not be forced to explain why a potential employer received an e-mail from me from all places – Scotland; and though I am not employed by them – why I am asking for assistance.
I also segregate, as much as possible my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts where I keep family and friends at bay from business contacts. I also wonder why you would want to share your political and religious beliefs with your clients, and that is the case if you don’t segregate social and business accounts from your social and business comments.
In a Social Media World where everybody seems to know everything that is going on in our life, I guess a scam such as what I experienced this morning makes you realize that there are times that maybe, just maybe we need to keep certain elements of our existence private. Though I am an avid proponent of all new media, I do believe there should be boundaries. I need not know everything that is hapening in your everyday life and most people would be bored silly if I revealed my daily schedule.
Though I would rather be in Scotland than in this un-Godly heat that is hitting America this week, I must admit that hearing from friends and colleagues surely made my day. Of course I am still upset over the fact that no one actually sent me any money – I thought you were my friends!
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives since 1986. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition.
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