One of the things job seekers are encouraged to do is to maintain control over their online-reputation. Curiously enough, though, how many people have you met that you know have no idea how to maintain control over their reputation in general. Is it rather extraordinary that we ask people to make certain they’re reputation on line is solid when on-the-street, they’re just so clueless?
How many people have a hard time taking constructive criticism? You know so-and-so doesn’t want to hear that they’re completely uncoordinated in that shirt, slacks, tie combination so they’re not told. Think that person knows that everyone else thinks they’re a slacker, too?
The person who really should be in a position of some authority that can’t seem to figure out why they go home so frustrated, that doesn’t get that people go around him or only go to him to get the answer they want. That guy has zero clue what his reputation is.
Sometimes I wonder. I get flashes of what people think, but only flashes. And perhaps that’s all anyone can really expect – unless you’re a high profile celebrity or public official – you’re never really going to get the full monty.
Goodbyes in general seem to bring out those emotions. I suppose at funerals, people tell the deceased what they really thought of him/her – a little late albeit. It’s always interesting to me to hear what people DON’T say when they’re telling you what they think. I hate to say it, but I’ve gotten pretty good at writing non-recommendation letters along the way.
One of my in-laws suggested to me that I’m a snob. How in the world could that be? I grew up on the same side of the tracks – and believe me there were tracks – I went to public schools, public colleges. I cleaned floors and bathrooms to pay my way through college. Snob? Me?
Well, it seems that I carry myself a bit differently than those around me. While I grew up in middle-middle class America, this particular member of my extended family did not. She grew up in the projects, on some kind of assistance. College wasn’t an option. And really, proper grammar and sentence structure weren’t of utmost concern. Depending on comparator group, I’m a snob.
You have to know your audience and who may be looking for or at you. Set forth your online presence with a goal. Do you have a very common name? Do you not? The less common your name, the more likely it is that you can be tracked down online and in which case you have to be even more careful with what you put out for your online reputation.
But before worrying about your online reputation, it may behoove you to take a look around and hear what those around you have to say about you. You may be surprised. There is a thin line between self-awareness and self-delusion.