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Unprofessional? Whom will you be known as? How do you represent your employer?

By Jeremy Misterek, Recruiting Practice Lead

Unprofessional? Whom will you be known as? How do you represent your employer? Meriam-Webster defines unprofessional as “not exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, or generally businesslike manner in the workplace”. I sat on this the past week but figured it was worth a share. Our firm, like many other firms, uses multiple marketing techniques to develop current and future business, one of which is sending out hiring market intelligence to current and prospective clients. This may include a candidate profile as we are in staffing (no resume, and never a full name), unemployment rates, market trends, and so on.

So after almost a decade of staffing in Kansas City, I received my first jaw-dropping email from a company. In this case, I thought if this was my employee I would want to know the extreme lack of professionalism this employee displayed. What do you do though when they are an owner or a VP, or in this case both? Here is the message I received: “Stop sending me this email $h*t!” In earlier days, I would have got bent out of shape over this, but we all know that letting someone else’s careless and selfish behavior derail our day is just not good stewardship of our time. So I simply replied, “Sure thing, appreciate your professionalism”.   To my response, I received an “OPT-OUT” message. This prompted me to share this story with a couple of people over the days that followed. What I found out about this company’s reputation made this event make much more sense. Most succinctly described, this company is known “as a pyramid scheme full of crooks.” Now that’s a heavy assertion by another professional, but you know what? Based on the top-down careless response I received it’s believable.

I share this story to challenge all of us to reflect on how and what we say to others. All of us can be better in this area! This is not a story of karma, or what goes around comes around, or anything else vindictive. Simply a reminder to us all to stop and think how our words and actions not only reflect on who we are, but on the company we are a part of. I challenge us all of this week to find a way to separate yourself/the company you work for in a positive fashion. At the end of the day, all we can control is ourselves.