Tuesday, December 02, 2008

IT career "self-sabotage": Is "online reputation" a new danger during mergers?

The Tech Republic blog, in a column “IT Leadership” by Toni Bowers, has an interesting column today by John McKee, “3 Steps to Career Self-Sabotage,” link here.

Point 2, failure to deliver results, seems self-explanatory. But interesting is the last point, failure to promote oneself.

Professional self-promotion takes on two aspects: one is within the organization, and the other is public, something that we have come to connect with “online reputation.”

After a company has been bought out, sometimes it pays for the professional IT employee to show an interest in the acquiring organization. Expressed willingness to travel to the new company’s location (or to relocate) often greatly improves the likelihood that the employee will be successful with new ownership and management. Mergers can destroy jobs, but they sometimes provide hidden opportunities, particularly for professionals who have some secondary motivation to make a partial career change and pursue it. That was the case with my own transfer to Minneapolis in 1997.

Online reputation could take on new meaning during acquisitions and mergers. An acquiring company might look at the online presence of many key employees, and might not always be particularly careful or ethical in the way that it conducts such an “investigation,” sometimes find misinformation or information about misidentified people. Visible employees should monitor their own profiles, and use professional profile sites like LinkedIn or Ziggs to cause “what they want others to see” to appear near the top of search results.

Picture: Minneapolis, near the river, from a video made by me in 2002.

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