That Email You Wrote Won't Damage Your Career… Sometimes… Maybe

from the you've-got-mail-and-a-bad-rep dept

There have been plenty of examples of people sending out emails they’d later regret after they got forwarded around the internet — just ask Peter Chung, the guy that worked for the Carlyle Group and sent the infamous email bragging about his sexual prowess and high-dollar lifestyle that made its way all around the world and back into the inbox of a managing director at the firm, costing him his job. A column in The Wall Street Journal’s taken another look at the issue, weakly concluding that writing a nasty email that gets forwarded around might not hurt your career. Possibly. Maybe. If you’re in an industry where “where unmitigated gall can be more marketable than galling”. The (largely superficial) article focuses on just two examples from the legal world where people’s email indiscretions don’t appear to have hurt their professional lives, apparently not deciding to dig much deeper, or find some examples where things didn’t work out so well. It relies heavily on the experience of one fresh law school graduate who had a pretty rude email exchange in which she derisively declined a job a prospective employer thought she’d already accepted. While it’s easy to blow off the effect of the email, she’s now had a WSJ article written about her that really doesn’t paint a good picture of her personality — she said the firm’s offer couldn’t support her lifestyle, while she’s living off Daddy’s money. Given how employers use search engines as reference checks, that may do more damage. The woman in question says she’s starting her own practice because she’s “never been the type to work under someone”. Somehow that’s not very surprising.

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Comments on “That Email You Wrote Won't Damage Your Career… Sometimes… Maybe”

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No Name, dont want a search engine picking this on says:

email can be dangerous

An email I sent out late last year cost me a promotion at my company. Looking back it was probably the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life and I will never make this kind of mistake again. Basically I used someone else’s email account (a contractor that had rolled off of my project but I had access to his email) to send one of my friends an email pretending to be the IT department saying he violated the company’s policy regarding surfing the Internet (he was really paranoid about using the Internet at work). I was going to let him sweat it out half a day and then tell him it was me, but somehow his manager found out about it. She chewed on him for about 30 minutes and then escalated the issue up the management chain. When I found out about it, I told her that I sent the email and my friend had really done nothing wrong. She did not find my joke particularly funny and it took a week to get the whole situation straighten out.
Regardless to say, I had the company code of conduct threw in my face 3 or 4 times and I have since learned my lesson and never do anything of the sort on company time or resources ever again.

wolff000 says:

E-Mail Bad

What kills me is that people still think email is private when it is anything but. As far as work goes you should treat your email messages the same way you would treat the bulletin board in the break room. You sure the hell would not post something private on it with your name attached, so don’t go emailing your personal business to folks at work. I am the admin at my office and i probably get one call a week asking if I can catch an e-mail that got sent to the wrong place. Most of the time these e-mails are personal and stuff that should never even be typed while at work. Yet the same people accidentally e-mail thier supervisor how much they enjoyed the romp they had with the secretary. In the illustrious words of Red Foreman from That 70’s Show, Dumbasses.

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