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  • Diana Schneidman

A warning to people still in the womb

Soon you must make the biggest decision in your life: Will you eventually try to get a real “job” working for someone else or will you be a lifelong self-employed entrepreneur (or goof-off)?

Any day now you will be expelled into a world of blinding light and cold air. You’ll be crying for all you’re worth . . . and if you’re not, they’ll clobber you till you do.

Yes, that’s reason to cry in itself.

But there may be more. You may be filmed at the moment of birth without your consent and you never know where the film may show up. It may even be posted to the internet.

And once it is on the Internet, you have no control over who sees it. And worse yet, it may endure on the Internet forever.

Years from now, possible employers may research you online and decide on the basis of what they learn about you that they don’t want you. They can base this decision on anything they find out, even if the incident that turns them cold happened decades in the past.

Bad media can kick in on your day of birth. If you’re a male, the camera may already be on. Future employers can determine if you have the cojones to be a captain of industry. So turn your back to the camera immediately.

This can be tricky when the doctor is holding you by your feet. You risk being dropped on your head. Better the known risk of falling than the unknown risk of poor branding, I say.

Horror stories abound.

A kid who was woozy from dental anesthetic was taped by his dad for posting on YouTube. What’s funny about dental work?

I don’t know either but lots of people just loved it.

Years later the poor kid can’t get into dental school. Seems they don’t trust him around laughing gas.

Zachary, age 13 of Oak Park, posted to Facebook that he had eaten two Big Macs and a large fries and now was going out to buy larger pants.

Four years later he applied to work after-school shift at McDonald’s and was turned down flat. Big Macs are a healthy part of a well-rounded diet and Zach is inconsistent with McD’s positioning.

Photos abound on social networking sites of students who have been drinking. Not driving and drinking. Not operating power saws and drinking. Simply drinking.

Which proves conclusively that they don’t qualify to be a management trainee three years down the road. No matter that the hiring manager scrolled through the Google hits on his home computer, scotch in hand.

You may think that the solution is to stay offline but that’s the worst thing you can do.

People born after 1980 have to be totally plugged into social networking so that we old folks know they “get” it. Done right, your online presence demonstrates your inborn competence at marketing, team cooperation, technology and thumb typing.

But there’s danger. Pissing off the wrong reader with something he doesn’t like slams unforeseen doors.

The people making personnel decisions assure us that the problem is with those darned immature kids. (Wait, aren’t kids immature by definition?)

They carelessly put themselves in situations where who they really are comes through for all the world to see. When will they learn? ask the powers that be.

The problem could not possibly be that hirers have to be more open minded and overlook lots of what they see if they are going to devote themselves to making wise decisions that benefit the company rather than merely trolling the internet for gotchas.

Work for someone else or be self employed?

You decide. Now!

Originally posted 10-10-10

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