The Bachelor's Blake Garvey is taking a beating in the Australian media at the moment. I understand that he and his new girlfriend undoubtedly find all the attention rather distressing, but, due to his action, the man has as much credibility as a fake $50 note. And given that recruitment is a LOT like trying to find a life partner, here are some handy tips that somebody should have told Blake before he became one of the most ridiculed men of 2014.
Don't let anybody force/coerce you into making a decision until you’re 100% happy.
There are a million stories of people who almost instantly regret taking a job because they felt under pressure to do so...and just as many hiring managers who regret making a bad hiring decision under pressure. It never works out when you are not 100% committed to the decision – because those tiny little worries, the teeny doubts, become the monster living under your bed and, before you know it, you're running for the hills. I have no idea if Blake was under pressure to make an offer of marriage, but he was definitely under an enormous amount of pressure to make a decision. That was the whole premise of the show: you date all these amazingly beautiful women and then you choose one to move forward with.
When someone is under that kind of pressure, wrong decisions can be made. They ARE often made in real life when candidates feel under pressure to accept a job offer.
I have always told candidates to take some time out before they make a decision about a long term job offer. Turn the phone off, avoid anyone with a vested interest in the decision, and take some time to write out all the pros and cons of accepting the job offer. When you think about it, Blake didn’t get this time out until after the show finished and after he had already jumped head first into what was clearly the wrong decision for him. So, like all those job hunters who take a job and then find it's all wrong, he bailed on his commitment.
What happens in public (and on social media) stays in public (and on social media).
Thank God, very few of us have to choose a life partner on national television, because almost all of us have made hideous decisions in the past (or will in the future). At least we only have to suffer the humiliation in private. Blake will always have this hanging over him. He will forever be the guy who proposed to one girl, dumped her ten minutes later and then shacked up with the third place runner. Even if he and Louise live happily ever after and have a brood of fantastic children and a sensationally happy life, there will always be someone who says, 'OMG you're the guy who...' Which is why social media can also be your worst enemy in your career and job hunting. Because no matter how long ago it happened and what you have done since, if a future employer finds a picture on the internet of you lying in a gutter with your knickers/jocks on display, you are going to have people talk about you...and not in a good way.
Don't tell a lie to make yourself look better.
You have called off the wedding. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and you don’t want to look like a cad. This is all good. But looking all sad and claiming to be heartbroken and then two weeks later declaring your undying love for another woman is ridiculous. You have lost all credibility. As has the temp who accepts a job but bails after the first day because they were actually waiting for another offer the whole time, or the person who accepts a permanent job but sends a text the day before they are due to start to say that they have changed their mind.
And let's not even talk about the people who claim someone has died just so they can bail on a job. It gets old very fast. Australia is a disturbingly small place when it comes to this sort of thing.
People don't forget, and the lies you tell and the 'easy way out' decisions you make stick in people's minds. And then, one day, it might come back to haunt you, because the person you let down today turns out to know someone who knows someone in the future.
Don't get upset when people get annoyed with you.
If you make a decision that you have to back out of and, as a result, people are let down or inconvenienced, don't get upset when they express their feelings about the situation. There is no point claiming that someone else has made you look like a fool (for example) because people are laughing at you. Take it on the chin and accept that your actions have consequences. Don't get defensive, don't get aggressive and don't be rude. That will just make things worse. You have to own your mistakes. I rather think that Mr Garvey has learned a lot in recent months.
I expect he has some significant regrets and will continue to have to deal (for some considerable time) with complete strangers having opinions on what should be his very private life. In the end, I hope the decisions you have made in the past regarding your career don't haunt you quite as much as a three month stint on The Bachelor is going to haunt Mr Garvey (and those of us who watch this stuff).