The jobseeker and “Taking a Stand”


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Unless you are living in a bubble, no doubt you have heard about the ongoing discussion of sports players taking a knee, sitting out or avoiding the National Anthem. No matter your view on the topic, the action entails people demonstrating their views in public, specifically at work. That brings up the question, how does publically sharing one’s views impact the “jobseeker”?

I recently wrote a series about how social media can affect your personal brand here and here. In it, I discussed the impact your social media pages can have on your personal brand. Today, we are learning how sharing one’s views can impact their career, and also as a jobseeker. As a recruiter, I have always felt that by taking a public stance on a topic, I lose half my market. Having served in the Military for 20 years and now the federal government, I am used to keeping my personal opinion to myself at work. I could share my point of view on sensitive subjects, but I know that doing so comes with consequences I must be prepared for. We all have the right to share, voice, stand and kneel. And unless you are in a dark room in your home, someone is listening and watching and they will most likely have an opinion. Maybe it is the same as mine, maybe not.

Uncle Sam made it easy for me, “The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in some forms of political activity”. The military adopted a similar policy. In private sector, we each make our own decisions on what we want to “take a stand” for.

A recent survey finds 75% of Americans Believe Employers Should Take a Political Stand. I find that surprising, but okay. Let’s entertain that. As a jobseeker, would you apply for a company that had differing opinions than your own on hot-button issues? I believe companies have a social responsibility to do good for their employees and communities when possible. Build a playground, sponsor a fundraiser for kids or host a community clean-up day, these are things I can understand. As a jobseeker, be prepared for limited options when we mix politics and career. I am not sharing this point of view as a spiritual advisor or civil rights counselor; I am sharing it as a career counselor. No one cares about your career, like you do.

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VA Careers

Comments

  1. Stevie Ray Clinton    

    The NFL players kneeling during the national anthem should either be fined a days pay or suspended for the game.theyre already making millions.this is america love it or leave it.

  2. john    

    I just don’t believe anything I read or hear. I’ve been unemployed to long. I’ve been told “on the side” by a hr person that you’re simply to old to be hired by the government and the jobs are already hired for that the jobs are posted only because by law they have to.

  3. Richard James Spillane    

    Although I thoroughly disagree with the players taking a knee, I fought for their right to do so. There are better ways to protest that do not disgrace yourself and your country!

  4. Sheila M    

    John, I’ve run into the same thing in state government. They have to interview even though they already know who they want, ie, someone who already works for them looking to promote. What you are talking about is called age discrimination and it shouldn’t be happening. The other consideration is that if they actually do hire someone younger and without any experience that is because they can start the person at the bottom of the pay scale “saving” them money.

    Stevie, first off, you served in the military so you know that you fought for everyone’s right to their opinion/ freedom of speech. These players are expressing their opinions. However, I have to agree that they should not be doing this while they are working. That is inappropriate. Yes, maybe they should be fined or suspended. I think they should lose however much they would be paid for each game that they express their opinions in this manner.

  5. Lloyd S. Hardin    

    Personally, I would not care to work for an organization where the values clashed with my own. I think it is important to research a company before applying to it. As for NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, their stand has been noted. Practically everyone has heard about it. So, it’s time to get back to business as usual.

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