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How Personal Decisions Can Cost You Big Time Professionally


We all know that personal and professional don’t mix, but what happens when it accidentally does and it costs you your job? Find out how to keep your personal life from negatively affecting your career.

career ender

(Photo Credit: Peat Bakke/Flickr)

Your personal reputation can ruin your professional chances. One person who’s experiencing the very public consequences of a few bad personal decisions is Alec Baldwin’s stalker, actress Genevieve Sabourin, who was recently sentenced to “210 days in jail for the five counts [of stalking and harassing the star], as well as for violating a protection order and for a contempt of court ruling issued after her repeated outbursts in court,” according to Sabourin claims that she was not stalking the actor, but rather pursuing him (for multiple years) to try and finding “closure” from the alleged relationship she had with Baldiwn. Needless to say, Sabourin will be in the spotlight for her career-ending antics, rather than her acting skills.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Mind your P’s and Q’s with email etiquette. Never send personal information on your work email because it can and will be used against you, should your employer discover it. In fact, according to this Oracle post, “Employees do not have First Amendment rights because employers are private institutions and they are free to restrict speech to prohibit offensive, defamatory, or embarrassing e-mails.” It’s always safe to assume that Big Brother is snooping around in your work emails, so refrain from using the company’s property (including company issued cellphones, laptops, cars, etc.) for pleasure. Take it from these three employees of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission who were fired for sending catty work emails to each other defaming their co-workers. It’s simply not worth it to get fired for misusing company email, so save the gossip and embarrassing behavior for happy hour. 

Think before your tweet. Social media seems to be one of the fastest growing means of career-suicide in today’s digital, communication age. What we’re not getting is why people keep committing the same career-ending social media crimes, despite how many times social media disasters are in the headlines. Whether you’re a public figure, politician, business owner, or the girl next door, social media is blind to your social status and publicly humiliates (and punishes) everyone equally. The internet is forever, people, and even if you try to delete something, chances are your boss has already been witness to your unprofessional antics and is on his way over to can you. Learn from the mistakes of these people, who got fired for one mindless social media post, or read more about what types of posts will cost you your career, here.

Your personal business isn’t supposed to intertwine with your work, but when it happens, it usually doesn’t end well. Therefore, keep your personal life private, on- and offline, and learn how to prevent yourself from making a potentially damaging decision that could cost you your job.

Tell Us What You Think

How else do you safeguard yourself from committing career-suicide in today’s digital age? Share your pearls of wisdom with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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