Social Enterprise

Laid off: Fight the urge to vent

If you've been let go from a company, it's hard not to let your feelings take over. But if you find yourself venting publicly, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

If you've been let go from a company, it's hard not to let your feelings take over. But if you find yourself venting publicly, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

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Getting let go hurts. It hurts whether it comes in the form of a disciplinary firing or a "cost-cutting" lay-off. For a great many people, hurt feelings translate into bitterness which in turn manifests in the form of angry actions.

In the old days, angry actions were limited to sarcastic diatribes at Happy Hour about the horribly mismanaged atmosphere of the company from which you were let go. These were usually just harmless steam-letting exercises. But what if seated at the table next to you during your rant were ten CIOs from the top companies that you planned to apply to after you sobered up?

That's a nightmare scenario that is not too exaggerated in a world where a person's actions and feelings are out there for public consumption via Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.

We all know better, or good gosh by now I hope we do, than to vent about past employers in interviews with prospective employers. It's a most unflattering behavior that serves only to alert the interviewer to your lack of discretion. But the same people who know don't know that recruiters are trolling social media sites all the time for information about you. Companies are searching such sites to vet potential new hires for everything, including a bad attitude.

If it makes you feel better to vent, do it with your Friday night bowling team. Resist the urge to debase your former company online.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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