I read a story about a flight attendant who was fired for posting photos of herself striking suggestive poses. She was photographed wearing her official uniform on an empty airliner, clearly identifying her employer. I’ve also read about a hotshot cosultant who sent an email message describing his last date in graphic detail, using his employer’s email account.
Most of us manage to hide the live editions our worst case scenarios. But as a disaster planning exercise, here are my candidates for the Top 10 Dumbest Mistakes Made by the Smartest People.
1. Posting a photo of yourself on the Internet in a pose or costume that might raise eyebrows (not to mention red flags) at the office. Would you post this photo on your desk? Add a framed version to your office wall? Show it to your mother? Once you’ve posted to the Internet, you might as well.
2. Wearing a company uniform (or carrying an emblem of the company or standing outside company HQ) while performing Dumb Mistake #1. It’s like being the black sheep family member.
3. Writing a blog about your company “for therapy” and insisting it’s for you and your friends. Therapy should be private. Blogs are written to be shared with the world.
4. Using the company email to send a personal message. I get dozens of queries every year: “Hi Cathy. I hate my job. Can you help?” All written on their employer’s message system, legally available to their bosses and colleagues.
5. Thinking your boss, the HR department or the recruiter is your friend. Whoever pays their salary is their new best friend. Talk to your recruiter as you would talk to an employer or client. Talk to HR as little as possible.