I got stood up this week. My new hire, Chris, left me a voicemail one hour before he was to begin his first day on the job to tell me he wasn’t coming. He had accepted another job for more money and benefits.
It’s not a new story. I’m sure most people in a hiring capacity have similar tales of woe to report. But it’s a good lesson in personal branding. Chris certainly burned his bridges with me besides failing Ethics 101. While it’s certainly important to further your career, there’s no advantage doing it at someone else’s expense. Chris surely didn’t get his offer one hour before he called to kiss me off. No reason he couldn’t have called me the week before. Not that the outcome would have been different in my case; but it would have made a world of difference in my opinion of him.
Rule Number Two in personal branding and career management is not to burn bridges. The person you write off today could be in a position to further your career tomorrow. Rule Number One is to behave ethically. Sure, you can get ahead by stomping on others – and history of course is filled with villians who have profited off of other’s misery. But, in the end, beside behaving like a heel and hurting others, you’ve stained your own good name.
In the spirit of the holidays, let’s remember that in business as in life, giving is what makes us human and enobles our souls.
A warm and wonderful holiday season and a New Year filled with promising new opportunities and the continual joy of self-discovery and helping others.
And much personal branding success!
Wendy Marx, Personal Branding and Public Relations, Marx Communications