Employees are switching jobs, and they switch often. They stay at jobs for a shorter time than their parents or grandparents. In most professions, the concept of sticking with one employer no longer makes sense. In fact, people who stay put are often indirectly penalized by doing so. Employees who stay forfeit promotions and money when they stay for too long.
It’s the time of year when raises may begin to occur. When a company looks at an internal employee, they often focus on the person’s salary history. They’ll say, “We gave James a 9 percent raise last year. He should be happy for a few more years.” But, if James were to go out on the open market, he might find an increase of twenty percent is closer to the market rate. In fact, the company would likely pay more to a new candidate if James were to leave, and the company were to backfill his role.
If you find yourself in this modern day dilemma, one thing is for sure. Your online brand is important. Keeping your online footprint professional is not just for politicians. It’s for every level of worker. In fact, there are hiring managers who will spend more time researching someone online than they will spend interviewing them.
Make sure there is not negative content about you on the internet. A good place to start is Google. Look up your name with quotes around your first and last name. Look through the first two or three pages of search results. And, don’t forget to check Google images.
If you find something negative that you have control over, remove it. Look for photos where you are dressed in a way you would not want an employer to view you. Look for times when you may have shared something on a controversial topic that may be misinterpreted.
Be on alert for negative content for other people who share your same name. For example, if someone with your name was recently arrested and a local TV station is sharing their mug shot photos online, this is a reason to be concerned. If you do see this, you can at times reach out to the TV station and ask them to remove the photos. Alternatively, you can work to create more positive content online that will push down the negative results.
If you work in a creative field, you may consider setting up an online portfolio of your work. You can also use sites like LinkedIn to feature your work.
Get involved in your career community online. Join your university’s alumni group on LinkedIn. Comment on relevant posts your LinkedIn connections make. Consider sharing your own success stories.
Whether or not it should be the case, personal brand matters. And, how your personal brand is perceived online matters. Your resume is no longer the only thing companies are considering. So, take the proactive steps to build your online brand.