I got this idea a long time ago from a storybook I read to each of my children, when they were younger. You see, I worry over each of them, and I try to protect them from all the things they might be Injured or threatened by. I am aware that not all suffering is physical, so I try to make sure the things I take for granted do not become implements of physical, emotional or social bruises. Author Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated, Where the Wild Things Are back in 1963. In this book the Wild Things are a ghastly collection of not so scary monsters. In this simple rendition of fears and a place where they dwelled I got to thinking about the risks in anyoneâ€™s IT career. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
Risk management in our careers is a big deal. Believe it, because if you are new to the IT industry, you should be aware of all the dangers. Ask your mentor or esteemed colleague, go climbing the mountains high for a shaman or sensei. They have all been on the INTERNET. Your mommy knows who you are, but what do others see when they look at you? How about when they look at you on the INTERNET? What does your image on the internet convey to the observant? Seek and you shall find. Sure you can Google yourself until the cows come home, but are you missing something when you do? When I was young I was a Big Blue mainframe operator. I was worried though, that this occupation had a shelf life. So I was looking for the next big thing I could hitch my wagon to because I was worried that I might sink with a dying technology. Well the Big Metal is still here, but I am no longer attached to it. As mid-range systems took hold I was there, a gypsy on the way somewhere. About this time in my career I decided that mid-range systems had a shelf life. So I hitched a ride on the client server bullet train, I was managing career risk in my own way, by traveling along the path before it became a road. Looking back now I realize I could have hunkered down on any one of these technology plateaus and lived comfortably.
Today though we have that thing we call the INTERNET. In and of itself this conduit for change and knowledge is pretty sedate. Were you ever arrested? Where did you work last? How did your mate feel when you broke up? Have you posted something on the INTERNET you think is funny but someone else might not? Your image affects your chance for a new job, or maybe a promotion, or even career options you might not have considered. Have you kept your image clean? Have you managed the risk your activities on the INTERNET can cause? Too many questions, so let me answer a few for you.
Everything is out there. Recent events, past events and the future are glaring back at you like a specter from a fortune tellerâ€™s crystal ball. The electrons shuttle your image like a transporter on Start Trek, able to move you everywhere in the blink of an eye. When I am talking to you on the phone I am Googling you on my PC. If I am on line chatting with you I am looking for you on Facebook, LinkedIn and where Google has found you. In my case I am a recruiter so I do it to learn about you. What might another person want to use the information they find for? Itâ€™s not just the INTERNET that causes problems, remember almost everything that is public record, is accessible via the INTERNET.
WHAT TO DO?
Be a good geek, please. Donâ€™t be a bad geek. I know a CCIE that wanders the globe like a nomad. He is a naturalized US Citizen, but a convicted felon, that now finds his CCIE certification cannot overcome that blot on his history. Working in the Middle East as a contractor he is faced with an uncertain future while his children grow older and his wife keeps their home.
Donâ€™t be a bad geek! Be a good geek.
The posts on the INTERNET can be removed, if you put them there and you can clean up you image if photos and posts are controversial or offensive. Still though like tattoos and outrageous piercings some scarring might occur. Work on your public image like a sculptor and build yourself a beauty.
Lindy Kyzer posted 7 steps to clean up your web image her advice is good http://lindykyzer.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/7-steps-to-clean-up-your-web-image-for-2011/
Check it out and these simple steps will help. But remember the criminal record is a bad thing so;
Donâ€™t be a bad geek! Be a good geek.
Find a place where the Wild Things Arenâ€™t in your associations public, private and virtual, to be on the safe side!
MANAGE THE RISK
In our lives we take risks. I traveled to India, Africa and the Middle East without get any vaccinations before my visits. My family doctor thinks I should not do that again. He is convinced I took a big risk with my health. What we risk when we go into the wild places in our lives can lead to a lifetime of regret. So be safe and avoid, â€śWhere the Wild Things Areâ€ť!