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Apology to Chinese recruiters

I have a LinkedIn account that says I'm a Cambridge computer scientist and software engineer with experience in both academia and industry, my code was used at Google Translate, Sprint's phone network, NOAA, genetics labs, Oracle, etc, and I speak Chinese.

I didn't join LinkedIn to find a job. I joined LinkedIn because someone I know asked me for a reference on LinkedIn. I added my credentials to make my reference for her stronger.

I set my profile to be findable by my contacts only, but LinkedIn later deleted that option and now all profiles are visible to anybody logged in. I often get connection requests from recruiters I don't know, just because they are attracted to the profile. This happened even when I changed the start to say I don't work full time. Sometimes it seems they just search for keywords and don't actually read what I said. I don't understand why recruiters get paid so much just to search for keywords.

I don't usually accept connection requests from people I don't know. But if the name looks Chinese, I'm more inclined to accept it, because I think it might be one of my Chinese friends who hasn't told me their real name. Consequently, I've accepted connection requests from recruiters in China, and then I'm sad when they send me their pitch because I know I'll disappoint them.

Here are two reasons why I think you won't actually want me to go to work for your company or lab in China.

Firstly, I don't have energy to work 12-hour days 6 days a week. I know it's not policy, but credible reports suggest it's common unofficial culture in technology companies. I care about doing high-quality work, but I believe "quality is better than quantity" and I can't work well when I'm tired. Your stamina is impressive, but it also means I'm at a disadvantage, being over 40, with a disability, and working carefully not always quickly.

Secondly, I'm not an activist but I can't always stop myself from saying something when I think we might be unfair. I've written letters to world leaders, humbly asking them to consider releasing people from prison if I think the law made a mistake. In companies I've asked for workers who made small mistakes not to be punished beyond having their mistakes corrected (I saved at least two people's jobs by speaking up). And when I questioned a London Chinese startup's executive over what I thought was his ridiculing older jobseekers, it led to an altercation that had me called an anti-China, China-insulting, China-prejudiced rascal and a racist. Other Chinese observers said that was an overreaction, and indeed I've had some very good Chinese friends who can mentor me without getting upset if I overstep my right to speak, but still I don't fully trust myself to stay out of trouble in a Chinese company.

I'm sure China will become more inclusive in future, and meanwhile it's a pleasure to know Chinese people who come to the UK; I'm learning Chinese basically to help them here, not to work in China. I'm happy to hear from labs (especially if they use my software) and exchange ideas, but my lack of China's work energy and my respectful feelings toward older people, people with disabilities, neurodiverse people, peaceful minority-religion believers and others (and the fact that anyone who doesn't like me for this will fire an "enemy of the people" accusation at me which I won't know how to handle over there) prevents me from working there at this time. So I'm sorry I can't help you fill your foreign recruitment quota. But you're welcome to browse my website; I have some poem translations and things I hope you'd like to see.

All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.