Maintain a Professional Attitude

What you do outside work can impact job security and future protects
          It’s 5 p.m. on Friday and your work week is over. It’s now your time to do what you want. Complete freedom from work until Monday morning. Nothing you do outside of work can affect your employment, right? Well, not always. This can especially be true in a small community where people know people and news travels fast. So if you think that only what you do or don’t do at work can get you fired, think again.
            It seems unfair. If I am a food employee and do what is expected of me then why does it matter what I do outside of work? A lot of times it doesn’t. But in some circumstances it can ultimately lead to your demise. It all depends on what you did, who knows you did it, and how it can affect you employment.
            One common mistake people make is badmouthing their employer, the company, clients/customers, or co-workers, or disclosing confidential information about the company/employer. Imagine sitting in a pub with friends talking about your dislike for your job and lack of respect you have for your employer. Someone who knows your employer overhears your conversation. In a community where everyone knows everyone or everyone know someone who knows someone else, sometimes it is best to keep your thoughts to yourself. No one likes to be ridiculed and embarrassed, and offending your employer may cause you to lose a reference and also you job.
            Why do people call in sick and then go gallivanting around the city and not thing anyone will notice? When you miss work, co-workers need to pick up the slack or someone is forced to go in work on their scheduled day off to cover your responsibilities. When your co-worker or employer later sees you out on the town feeling fine, they will question your honesty. It could lead you to be fired or cause discomfort at work with co-workers.
            Disorderly conduct such as public intoxication, inappropriate or obscene language, or violent behavior may cause judgment for an employer looking to hire you or keep you on their team. No one likes to employ someone known for outlandish behavior or as a “troublemaker.” Even if this were not to lead to your termination of employment, it may still cause judgment from your employer and co-workers and limit your opportunity for advancement.
            An example is Tiger Woods’ now-infamous infidelities. They have nothing to do with his gold game, however his work was affected. First, members of the public who used to adore and support Woods are no longer fans. Second, there were the financial losses from endorsements and potential money lost from not playing in tournaments. He gained popularity due to his “job”, but lost it with his personal actions.
            Disorderly behavior leading to criminal charges, especially if there is publication of the occurrence, can also lead to limited employment opportunities. Criminal record checks are commonly required by potential employers. A not-so-clean record could cost you employment.
            More employers are conduction ongoing web searches on current or potential employees. Social networking sites may seem innocent and treated as an opportunity to share personal information in a comfortable, safe environment. But once you post the information and risqué content on the web it is there for the world to see.
            An employer’s team is a very crucial component to determining company success. Therefore, an employee’s community reputation, both at and away from work, does matter. The bottom line is your behavior outside of work does count.
            Submitted by Jodie Engbert
Program Co-ordinator, Career/Employment Advisor