Jetté Momant

Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

How a HOPA quits her job and taints her personal brand in one day

In Chat, personal branding, social media, Word of Mouth on August 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm

While reading a post on Chris Apollo Lynn’s (Republic of Austin ) Facebook wall, I learned about a young woman who dramatically quit her job.  What makes this everyday occurrence extraordinary is that she didn’t dump her job quietly. She quit  not by writing a two week notice and slipping in in HR’s inbox, not with the intention to leave relationships, reputation and decorum in tact for future referrals,  but rather she left in a viral explosion.

She left her mark not only the company she was ditching but she also marked the vast social media landscape.

She definitely had chutzpah, something I admire in a woman.  I too would take offense to someone I worked for calling me a HOPA (Hot Piece of Ass.)  And she definitely displayed excellent  resolve for transparency, which I admire in marketing .  But her transparent chutzpah left  me wondering, was it a smart personal branding move in this age of rapid word of mouth? My answer, of course,  is “no.”


The stunt was all a traffic-driving hoax orchestrated by humor site theChive.com who cleverly timed it with the outrageously viral real story of JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater. His stunt didn’t just garner web hits and laughs, it actually landed him in jail for the night.

The fascination with Slater’s story was the perfect social media wave for theChive.com to jump onto and ride.  I was impressed by their swift ingenuity. Mainstream mentions of the HOPA girl are estimated at 40 and blog mentions round up to over 4,000.   The tally is still out on the Twitter tweets and Facebook status updates.

Again, I go back to the question of: What if this young woman were looking for another job as a broker. Would  not her personal brand be too tainted because of the viral nature of her abdication from her previous job – or would future employers even be paying attention? I would wager that smart employers would be paying attention and Googling information on interviewees and would  more than likely be exceedingly hesitant to hire Ms. HOPA.

To most, I know the question and comments I pose seem like common sense, but I often find myself amazed by what people post online without thoughts of  the repercussions in the future.

Two quotes stick out to me about this subject:

Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.”
Jason Hartman

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Tom Peters in Fast Company, 1997

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