I came across an article on Salary.com called, 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Boss. The first page basically said something that I do believe in — we need to be aware that whether we like it or not, our actions can impact how we’re perceived and judged by others at work.
BUT, as I started scrolling through the article, I found some of the “things” listed in the article to be completely absurd and ridiculous!
While I agree there are certain parts of our lives that can be shared too much and leave ourselves open to unnecessary judgement, managers and employees are humans and life happens around us whether we like it or not.
There are life issues we can’t control such as illness, caring for our young and old, divorce, etc. The last time I checked, there was no such thing as work-life balance and many progressive workplaces demonstrate and respect diversity and inclusion, empathy and are capable of being human with others.
Employees should not have to live under a veil of “shhh!” and fear being judged if they’re going through a serious personal issue. At the end of the day, if an employee is adding value, most reasonable managers won’t judge someone’s personal life as indicated in this post.
That’s issue #1.
As I proceeded to check out the bio of the writer, I learned that she’s a self-employed freelance writer who writes about niche topics like weddings, gaming, pets, women’s issues, technology, home decor, travel and tourism, apartment living, and personal finance. While that’s great, I’m trying to figure out how a freelance writer can be a credible source on how employees should, or should not behave in Corporate America.
That’s issue #2.
So before dropping her an email and asking about her experiences on this topic, I did something that Salary.com probably didn’t bother doing — a little due diligence. I found the writer’s profile on LinkedIn and while it seems there is some work experience in an office environment (I’m speculating based on the name of the position) she’s been a freelance writer and student for the last 9 years.
As I shared the article and my
objective opinion about both of these issues on Facebook, a colleague of mine read it left a comment that was so golden and heartfelt that I have to share it:
Sing it Kimberly! This kind of insulting drivel might drive a little traffic to salary.com but anyone with two functional neurons can see how sick, misguided and backwards the advice is. BRING YOURSELF TO WORK!
Gotta love that — bring YOURSELF to work!
Another colleague of mine got fired up and she reached out to the folks at Salary.com asking them to justify the qualification process for their writers. This was the response she received:
We have dozens of contributors from different backgrounds. And they often disagree, because a lot of these issues are opinion-based. For instance, some of our writers advise people in job interviews to never bring up money first, while others say that can work to your advantage. Some of our resume experts advocate a 1-page resume, while others say that’s antiquated. I understand you don’t agree with a lot of the points made in this article, and that’s fine. You’re not alone. That’s why we have a comment section which often results in an illuminating and informative discussion that helps people even more.
Now that’s a generic response circumventing a direct question. There is no process.
Doesn’t credibility matter when the writers you hire may not have relevant experience on the topic? If it’s simply an opinion, say so. I found it to be especially disappointing since Salary.com is a division of Kenexa — who has been around a long time and is a respectable staple in the HR tech world.
It’s impossible to know what the day-to-day management relationship is between Kenexa and Salary.com but from the outside looking in, Salary.com must be the red-headed stepchild of Kenexa because I have no doubt that credibility matters to Kenexa.
Writers and subject matter experts are not synonymous. It doesn’t even mean they have direct experience in what they’re writing about. Do your own due diligence.
And if you’re a writer, please use credible sources; share your own experiences or state that you’re sharing your opinion.
It’s the right thing to do for readers. My colleagues and I thank you in advance.