Looking for a Job? The Internet is Forever

Photo credit: mardrasikora.com

Today, I happened upon the LinkedIn post below, which is a public declaration of what many of us have thought many times – and probably for many years.  TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT.   While it’s 100% natural to think this way, calling a former boss “a micro-manager,” [sic] “egotistical,” “selfish” and someone who has lost the respect of her employees on social media is a bad, bad idea.

Looking for a job? Don't trash your former boss on social media.

This gentleman, whose name and picture I have hidden (I am calling him “J”), was clearly not happy on his way out the door.  But he messed up big time, and here’s why:

Trashing your boss publicly is a bad idea

J was clearly angry and many people agreed with him in the comments (which astounded me).   At the time of this writing, his post has nearly 2,000 Likes.  Good for social, bad for future employment.

Why is this bad? The very first thing that your potential employer will do is GOOGLE YOU.  I taught from this Harvard Business Review article TEN YEARS AGO (2007) and what is states is still true: if there is negative information to be found, people will find it.  Many potential employers will be somewhat reticent to hire someone who trashed his/her boss on the way out the door.  Yes, plenty of supervisors are astoundingly bad.  But this is an advertisement that you can become disgruntled and trash your NEXT boss (maybe me?) on your way out the door.  Bad idea.

If you live in a job-related glass house, don’t throw stones

Out of curiosity, I decided to dig a little deeper into J’s professional background because he says that he is “passionate” about what he does professionally.  So I looked into his prior jobs, and saw that his tenures lasted:

  • Job#1: Three months
  • Job#2: Three months
  • Job #3: Eight months
  • Job #4: Eight months

I am no math major, but having four jobs in 22 months is a red flag for any employer.  “Passionate” might also be “pain the ass.” I encourage employees to be “passionate” because I believe that this will lead to success, but like I tell my kids, the Internet is forever:

The Internet is forever

Photo credit: Alexis’ Computer Literacy Blog

The bottom line about future jobs and the Internet

J sure was mad and may well have a good reason for being so.  May people agreed.  But by trashing his boss on the way out the door (with a checkered employment history), he just made his future job searches a whole lot harder.

Your future employers WILL Google you.



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