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2013-9-30 Office décor. Edited with G+ Edit & ipiccy, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Photo: Office décor. Leppävaara, Espoo, Finland 30.9.2013
(Edited with G+ Edit & ipiccy,
CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

First hand experience

I can’t say about what other people would do, but here’s some first hand experience from few months ago.

My contract at the Career Services was terminated last October after 15 years of service as the result of general co-operation negotiations in the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

Openness: theory and practice

I had been pondering a good deal about privacy issues when entering the social media sphere – both on personal and professional level.

I had also got familiar with the idea of openness as a part of work processes, as a way to achieve enriching encounters with colleagues and beyond.

I had fallen in love with concepts like serendipity, iterative processes and agile development.

The only way I could think of handling the pink slip, was to tell openly about the situation and hope it leads to new openings.

Walk the talk – online and in real life

Pretty soon after I got the news that I won’t be needed at the workplace anymore, I started to inform all relevant parties both online and in real life. Below is quite a long list – I wonder if I’ve still forgotten something.

On duty

  • social media
    • Facebook
    • Google+
    • Twitter
    • xTune
    • Yammer: Metropolia, Finnish Universities and a project network
  • other
    • colleagues on phone and face to face
    • automatic replies to email: personal & team 
    • emails to network connections: Finnish Career Services Network, steering group of the nationwide 
    • removing eg my name and contact info from the company website – sort of negative informing

Off duty


I got a heart warming amount of kindness, support and job tips after I came out with my situation.

Can’t say it’s all due to my openness, but in less than two months I was back at work.

Funnily enough, I got a 10 months fixed term contract from my former employer as a Programme Coordinator for the Faculty of Welfare and Human Functioning.



Metropolia: Career Services
Metropolia: Faculty of Welfare & Human Functioning


Statistics on Google url shortener


Many people put high value to the Circles feature in Google+, because that helps them separate their different audiences. And not all of them are marketers after cheap channels for targeted ads.

Inbound vs. outbound

For me it’s not so much about choosing for whom I wish to speak to, but rather from whom I wish to hear from. It’s more about filtering the inbound stream, not the outbound.

I’ve seen already one comment about a “spam follower” also in Google+, but the comment was without any elaboration as to why the following was interpreted as spammy (see my previous post “Spamming Evolves – To Block Or Report On Twitter?“).

Sending vs. receiving

One recent blog comment* had an idea about how Circles help with communicating in different languages separately. This sounded good at first, but soon my thoughts went along on another path. I realized I’d like to be in control more as a message receiver, not so much as a sender.

As a sender, I’ll probably post in Google+ mostly in public (just like I’m used to do in Twitter) and leave it up to readers to filter their stream as they feel fit.

As a receiver, I could use the circles for e.g. language learning purposes: if I’d like to brush up my Chinese, I could check my Chinese circle. I could also check my company circle to hear what my colleagues have on their mind.

Inclusion vs. Exclusion

I wouldn’t like to be filtered out just because the writer didn’t know that I can Zulu language and left me out of his Zulu circle. But I understand, that there are still countless other reasons why I could be filtered out.

Private separation vs. public serendipity

I welcome new ways to filter the information stream. The separation process may well be private like with Google+ Circles (people don’t know each others circles), even though I already got used to public Twitter lists.

I also welcome public spaces, because I wish to leave the door wide open for serendipity. After all, you never know who might be interested about your thoughts.


Inspired by

* Six Pixels of Separation by Twist Image and Mitch Joel: The Social/Anti-Social Network



Edited 2.12.2011: Statistics on Google url shortener

Content CC BY Tiina M Niskanen

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