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Are You Sabotaging Your Reputation and Business Online?
Written by:S McIntyre
How you conduct yourself online can adversely affect you as a business person, professional or employee/employer. No one wants to be seen in a negative light so how you handle yourself online is very important.

Your words on screen can be seen by thousands of people every day. Search engines crawl and spider everything or almost everything. Even if you went back to edit your posts days later, it's possible search engines have already cached the pages that can be viewed like archives. The damage is done.

Lately, I've seen way too many topics on work at home forums become personal and heated debates. Angry words attacking the person's character and rebuttals injecting just as much sting like two children fighting on a playground. Many of us can get caught up in our emotions without thinking twice and without thinking about the repercussions. This is ill behaviour and it will hurt you and/or your business. What would this look like to your potential customers, business partners or employees/employers? Would you want to do business, employ/work for this person/company?

A recent example of this was a new member joined the forum and right away started off on the wrong foot. This person continued to spiral herself into one confrontation after another with a different member each time. For me, I would not want to do business with her. Why? She has proven not just yesterday, but today and tomorrow that she cannot conduct herself professionally, she cannot walk away without stabbing words, throwing insults or being catty. She sabotaged her reputation inadvertently. You shouldn't let typed words on a screen get the better of you in the heat of the moment, but you can still say your peace with tact and without tarnishing your reputation in the process. You can walk away, calm yourself down, think rationally then come back and respond using carefully thought out words. You can also make it an one-on-one by taking it off the public forum and into a private conversation.

If you want to enforce a positive image online, you need to act professionally, take responsibility for your actions and be accountable for them. You don't have to be boot camp serious all the time; you can let your hair down and still have fun. You can still express your opinions.

It's remembering there are a lot of eyes reading and you don't want to give anyone any leverage because you slipped up. There's nothing worse than having your words hold you hostage because of what you said in the past.


S McIntyre owns Work At Home Space, a free work at home resource offering telecommuting jobs, job leads, articles, resources and other work at home related issues.

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