This week’s best question comes from my mentee who was approached to speak and receive an award at a conference in LA and Dubai by someone at an organization that is unknown to him. Seemed sketchy to me….Out of the blue. The two are not connected on LinkedIn.

He asked my advice: is this legit? Is this a scam? Is this real? Is it a golden opportunity?

I looked up the name of the originator and saw he was connected with my colleague. I messaged my colleague to see if she recognized the originator’s name (she did) and if she could provide my mentee some background information to make the upcoming conversation they seem destined to have more rewarding. This is how I asked her via LinkedIn messaging:

Hi there. It’s been a long time since we chatted. A colleague of mine was invited by {}, whom you are connected with, to attend 2 conferences (LA and Dubai) and accept an award for his work in youth development. Because this comes out of the blue to my colleague, he is trying to establish a reference on {}. Can he contact you to ask some questions how you know {}, etc.? Many thanks.

Her response:


He is more than welcome to reach out to me.


Next comes the part without me, but it’s indeed my pleasure to put 2 good people together through LinkedIn. The next steps will evolve with time.

But hey, you never know, who knows whom, in this very very small world!