Social media isn’t the only place you need to worry about
It goes without saying that you have to be very careful what you post on the internet these days. This is especially true on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. While you can keep both those sites private, it’s still a good idea to Google yourself to see what comes up. Are there any embarrassing pictures of you being drunk at a party? Any controversial political comments you posted somewhere that you don’t want a potential employer to see? (And these days, given how hot the political climate is, anything you post is going to be viewed as controversial by someone).
In sales, you don’t want your sales manager and customers reading anything that could hurt your sales or your ability to find and keep a job.
But beyond social media, what about your car? That’s right, your car!
Several years ago, I went in for a job interview with a small publishing company in Greenbelt, MD. The interview went well. After the meeting, the sales manager insisted on showing me to the door and walking out of the building with me. While we were standing outside talking, he asked me where I parked and what kind of car I drove. I proudly pointed out my American made Mercury Sable (which was becoming a lemon with all the car repair bills I was paying for).
And then, he quickly leaned in and told me in a very shallow threatening voice that he doesn’t want to hire any gays in his department. If I were gay, he added, I better withdraw my employment application right now. And with that, he quickly smiled, shook my hand and walked away. I was stunned by what he said. I didn’t know if he was targeting me specifically (for the record, I’m not gay), or if this was a standard hiring practice that he incorporated in all his interviews.
But it also just occurred to me why he wanted to see my car. He wasn’t interested in my taste in vehicles. Instead, he wanted to see if a gay bumper sticker or other “offending” stickers on my car.
Was his behavior unethical? Yes.
Were his actions illegal? Probably.
Was he being sneaky? Of course.
You see, if a hiring manager doesn’t like LGBTQ people, liberals, conservatives, Christians, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, environmentalists, feminists, Trump or Clinton supporters, etc. you may need to remove your bumper stickers on your car. It could hurt your chances of landing your dream job.
Am I paranoid? Maybe.
But given the current political environment, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of freedom of speech and the First Amendment. But when you are job hunting, sometimes you need to put your feelings and political or religious views aside and focus on getting a paycheck.
If you would like to remove your bumper sticker, here is a link from WikiHow –
However, there are ways you can temporarily cover up bumper stickers. Here is some advice below –
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
This post was originally published on my blog, www.dononselling.com.
If you like my post, please read my book — Jumpstart your Sales Career, Help for New Salespeople.