Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. I’ve made plenty of little ones and a few big ones in my time.
Looking for work, securing work, working, even leaving a job can be a highly emotional and stressful time. It can lead many of us to make foolish decisions while not thinking clearly about the ramifications.
In some cases, jobs are lost. And sometimes our actions can damage our reputation to a point where it’s almost beyond repair.
I’ve been in recruitment for more than twenty years and have seen and heard it all.
I’ve decided to share some warnings and horror stories (well, it is Halloween… ) about what can happen so you recognise these types of situations. But more importantly, so you don’t make similar mistakes yourself.
Do not come to work inebriated or get drunk at a work function. This has led to immediate terminations and individuals resigning because they were so embarrassed.
Do not brag on social media or in public that you have ‘the job in the bag’. Your ‘future’ employer might just read the post or be listening (yes this did happen on a train) and not progress your application. Why? Because it’s perceived that you lack discretion.
Do not ‘fish off the company pier’ and have office relations. Very few jobs and relationships last the test of time. It generally ends up in heartbreak or resignation for at least one of you.
Do not call in sick with a migraine and then post on social media a picture of yourself looking fabulous at the beach staring directly at the sun.
Do not share confidential company information/documents from your previous employer in an interview. This is a big no-no.
Do not leave risky and politically incorrect pictures or comments on your social media accounts. Clean up your social media footprint and delete anything controversial. Hiring managers do search your profile; we all search your profile.
Do not take drugs. Mandatory medical and drug tests can be part of the recruitment process and are often the last hurdle to jump through. If you test positive you can lose out on your dream job.
Do not plan to start a new business that conflicts with the interests of your current employer. One employee gave a printing company their current work phone number. Your boss just might answer your phone to hear, ‘your new business cards are ready to be picked up’.
Do not be rude to anyone regardless of their position in the business. The walls are always listening, and your attitude will be tracked.
So, what can you learn from these stories?
Your integrity follows you everywhere. Your social media follows you everywhere and being inebriated and on drugs will get you nowhere. But most of all your career brand is your reputation. It is what people say about you when you are not in the room and is very hard to repair once damaged.
Keep it clean people.