Money may not be your greatest treasure
People have a funny attitude when it comes to money. Many would say like my grandpa, “Unless you are planning to put some money in my hand, you got no business talking about my money.” So let me say from the start, this section may include your money, but the cash in your pocket and the value of your 401k are not the only treasures you choose to waste or invest.
You have dollars in your care that are in many cases limited to your education, your vocational opportunities and your current experiences. The amount of dollars that pass through your hands while you are working will be determined by many factors that are outside the purview of this book. What you do with those dollars is clearly your decision. The return on your investment, the impact that investment will have on your vision and the expression of your core values that are demonstrated by that investment are your burden. Guard those decisions closely. I want to talk about another treasure. “Your good name.” Your reputation.
In the military, as well as most major corporations there is an anti-fraternization policy. The reasoning behind anti-fraternization policies is really simple. Familiarity breeds contempt. Simply put, some people cannot be trusted with certain delicate information. Whether that information is of a fiscal nature, a security nature or a personal nature, revealing it in the wrong environment can play havoc on strategies, morale and integrity.
There is a new phenomenon called social media. It is a great tool for networking, job seeking, information acquiring, friend finding, product presenting, idea promoting and more. It is also a vehicle that has caused many people to let their guard down in front of people they would otherwise have been very guarded around or even avoided socializing with all together.
Tools like Facebook have made it possible to “spy” on people and to connect and undermine relationships outside the workplace.
Through simply reading the posts on their wall, one can deduce:
- the nature of language they use most often
- the extra curricular activities they engage in
- the type of friends they associate with
- their views on racism, sex, politics and religion
- view photos of them in “compromising” situations
My concern is this: While you may never post things like that, there is little or no opportunity for explanation when a would be employer sees your friend’s post of you at the porcelain throne, reads a lewd joke between you, or finds your uncle’s racist comment from months ago that you forgot to delete.
I read a post not too long ago of a young woman who mentioned in less than delicate words that her boss had just passed gas and it really stunk.
If you were that boss, and there was a chance to promote or release an employee, would that sort of insulting comment or exposure weigh into your decision? I am afraid it would for me. If someone working for me, thinks so little of me as to humiliate me with intention, even if before their friends who do not know me, when can I trust their integrity in matters of higher consequences?
If you were a hiring manager at another company, would that comment weigh into your decision as you compare two equally qualified people for one coveted position? Would not the character alone raise an eyebrow as to whom you might want next to you in the war for customer service quality and business reputation?
I challenge you to consider that a fine reputation, how you are thought of by others, is a treasure that is near impossible to replenish. The loss or damage to your reputation can be devastating to your family, to your career, to your confidence and to your self worth.
Exercise extreme caution when loaning or sharing your reputation in the same way you would your credit card, your checkbook, your car keys, the keys to the boss’ office or your family’s home.
When your reputation is destroyed, when people know you to be other than you really are because of a careless word or deed, whether by you or someone close to you, that is the truest form of identity theft.
Decide WHO you are and how you want to be remembered, then live as if that were already true for all the world to see.