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Employee Blogs (Prologue)
(June 18, 2007) There's been a spate of press releases by this expert and that. Each comes from an older (um, fellow, generally) who makes the case that embarrassing MySpace offerings are bad for business and bad for your career. Reading the material, one imagines a sea of bare tattooed bottoms on young executive wannabe women who have their bongs held high. They are surrounded by rail thin heavily tattooed and well pierced goateed young executive wannabe boys.
Theoretically, this ocean of miscreants will never be hired to reach their full potential as call center robots.
The kids I talk to want to be hired as whole people. The suggestion that they should lie (or hide) to get a job is singularly distasteful. They're not posing naked in YouTube orgy videos. When they hear this BS about intentional deception as a part of job hunting, they understand the code. They know that it means:
"Transparency is for others."
These sorts of issues are complex and multi-dimensional.
There is a difference between being a job hunter and being an employee. As a job hunter, one makes choices about how to present oneself. The potential employer makes choices about whether or not that presentation suits the organization. Presentation choices are just market segmentation.
As an employee, however, everything you do professionally reflects on your organization. This is why many outfits are happy to sponsor their employees as they reach new organizational heights in SHRM. Employee blogging can sometimes be embraced because it offers the opportunity to increase transparency and attractiveness in the same way.
There is, of course, a line. Transparency and authenticity do not require that everyone know your sexual preference(s) . One is fully entitled to a private life and, as long as it doesn't enter the public arena, it shouldn't matter. If anyone understands this principle, it is members of the HR profession. Among other things, we are often charged with ensuring that our organizations heed this dictum.
So, when an anonymous blogger who publishes in the trade chooses to foul the professional environment, does it or should it reflect on his or her employer?
The answer is, "Of course it does and Of course it should."
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