Take this job and shove it, said Marina Shifrin. Recently, the writer posted an YouTube video announcing her resignation from her job. The fallout from Shifrin’s departure – broadcast over the Internet and shared thousands of times on social-media channels - could teach job seekers when managing their online reputation, attracting new professional acquaintances, or starting a job search.
Shifrin, 25, was an employee of the Taiwanese animator Next Media Animation. In the now-viral video, Shifrin dances in her office during the late hours as she describes the reasons for her farewell.
"For almost two years I've sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job," she said. "And my boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets. So I figured I'd make one video of my own."
How Online Content Can Affect You at All Stages of Their Career
If you’ve ever performed a scan of Google results for your name, it’s possible that unwanted information sprouted up during your search. In fact, some recruiters may have chosen not to pursue your application because of what they found online.
Many business professionals rely heavily on their online reputation as the main source for presenting their talent to the world. As an online reputation becomes more important, it can be incredibly stressful to find out that a prospective employer or recruiting agency was turned off by false or erroneous content.
At this point, you probably know that the damage can be done from all corners. Resentful competitors and rude clients can target your name on slander sites as well as ratings and reviews forums. In order to prevent them from publishing unfavorable comments about your business, you monitor the Internet diligently. Many business professionals, though, have suffered from the work by their own hands.
When Frustrations Start to Boil Over, Stop Typing
What if you just can’t control the urge to vent your spleen about a difficult or unfair situation at your workplace? We’ve all had dreams of screaming, “I quit!” and dashing out the door or posting a joke online at our boss’s expense. However, it isn’t the best method for keeping or quitting your job. Staying on good terms will ensure that your current position - as well as your future job prospects - remains intact. That means no Tweets, Facebook updates or – yes - YouTube videos about your workplace on personal accounts.
According to her interview with The Huffington Post, Shifrin explained that the Taiwanese work culture is a far cry from the American environment. For her efforts, she received no meal break, and her responsibilities and schedule would change drastically from week to week. After several conversations with managers failed to address her issues, she chose to make and publish the video. Not a smooth move.
Shying Away from Controversy Is the Smart Choice
With just a two-minute YouTube video, Shifrin has ensured that her name is now synonymous with this viral video. The unfortunate truth is that negative or controversial listings often rank higher and higher over time due to high traffic, and many of them full of anonymously submitted, user-generated content. Therefore, these listings are protected from deletion by law.
Because these potentially damaging listings can rise quickly in search engine results, it is crucial that you take immediate action to repair your online reputation by establishing properties such as your social-media channels and your website. Sometimes that’s not even enough. As Shifrin will likely find, many employers will express disapproval in her antics, afraid that her quick-trigger temper could affect their business if she were to be hired.
Negative content is potentially devastating to your online reputation. It damages your credibility and could lead to losing prospective jobs. There are things that will always lie within your control. One is marking off your piece of real estate online. The other, of course, is taking care to prevent your personal opinions from reaching a wide audience.
For Shifrin, her Taiwanese adventure is over. She will soon return to the United States and plans to search for jobs with firms that “value creativity and the freedom of their employees.” Resigning gracefully may have inspired a few more interviews as she continues through the early stages of her career. Other business professionals would do well to learn from her example and avoid a similar meltdown online.
Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.