Does what you say, post or share ruin your career?
Last night, a post to our Facebook page was made by an individual who decided that sexually explicit comments were an appropriate way to express his interest, or disinterest, in the Power Line Technician careers we promote. It amazes me what people will say in public, in private and on social media that could really limit their career path and stall their job search. I have made my fair share of mistakes and have really regretted things I have said in public and private in the past. I now try to live by a golden rule say positive things or don’t say anything at all.
Studies in Canada and internationally have shown that having a network is key to career success; these include friends, family and social networks, not just professional networks. If we have had a little too much alcohol, are tired or do not understand the social norms, we can really rapidly jeopardize our careers.
It is not just when cameras are rolling or on social media where we can make mistakes, it is every social interaction from the Hockey dressing room, the soccer field to coffee with a friend, who is a Maintenance Manager and also a hiring decision maker. We need to watch what we say or we can do “Rob Ford” harm to our reputation. One “innocent comment” at a kids sporting event can be all it takes to ruin your own reputation and to be prevented from a promotion such as the jump from Millwright to a Maintenance Supervisor.
Think twice before pressing enter on any comments on social networks, making a joke or sharing a story. The number of negative, hurtful and hateful comments we see on political and sports stories is amazing and will be noticed by others in your network, and employers, if they google your name. I have made many mistakes and by thinking of ways that I can avoid being negative, I hope to be someone friends, family and employers would like to have around them.
Harvard Business Review has an excellent article and audio cast about the value of networking that would benefit all job seekers whether you are an apprentice Heavy Duty Mechanics or a Chief Power Engineers: http://hbr.org/2011/07/managing-yourself-a-smarter-way-to-network/ar/1