Charlo Greene Presents The Worst Possible Career Choice
Charlo Greene has in a 24-hour period become a household name. The founder of an Alaskan cannabis club campaigning for the legalization of marijuana threw her career out the window on a recent broadcast by fessing up to her role in creating the club and signing off with “Not that I have a choice, but f**k it, I quit.”
On the surface, it may seem like a bit of a no-brainer that this is an extremely bad idea. After all, should Alaskan voters choose to not legalize the use of marijuana, Greene’s club is pretty much done for, and it’s hard to imagine any network wanting to issue the apology that her former employer did shortly after terminating her contract.
But if it is so obvious, why did it happen in the first place, and why are so many people on social media cheering her brazenness?
Charlo Greene has provided students with what teachers love/hate to call “a teachable moment.” Here’s what you can learn from her if you’re about to start your first job or working toward your major.
Internet Fame Is Fleeting.
Today, you’ll hear many comments about how Greene won because everyone is now talking about her — that there is no such thing as “bad publicity.” Unfortunately for her, those are cliches and not reality. There is indeed such thing as bad publicity, particularly when you are in a profession like the one that Charlo was in (“was” being the operative term). This Internet fame she is experiencing — today, Google tells us, there have been more than 20,000 searches for a name that yesterday no one knew — will be gone in six months, along with her job prospects as a news anchor. Her only hope is that she can somehow make it with her cannabis club alone, which, by the way, was founded to inform Alaska voters on the upcoming election. Considering said election is just a couple months away, that’s not much for long-term job prospects.
Your Career Stock Will Be Higher If You Behave Like A Professional.
In the 1980s, there was a famous country music song by Johnny Paycheck named “Take This Job and Shove It.” We’ve all had the desire to tell our bosses what they can do with their jobs before, but inevitably, the harsh reality of what that means makes doing so a rotten idea 100 percent of the time. When you quit in the way that Charlo Greene did, you do two things: you create a situation where you’ll never be able to use that work experience on a resume ever again for fear of a bad reference, and you create a negative perception of your own professionalism long before any new employers are willing to take a chance on you. So, yes, while it can make for a nice viral video and a much-needed laugh on a Monday morning, it’s pretty much going to follow you wherever you go for the rest of your life. (Thanks, Internet.) By instead behaving like a professional, both on the job and departing from it, you’ll ensure that the work experience you’ve earned isn’t for naught one, five, and 10 years down the road.
Failing To Learn The Value Of Long-Term Planning Can Create Long-Term Headaches.
We’re sure that if Charlo Greene had stopped to consider the long-term effects of her outburst beyond the bump in Internet fame, she would have reconsidered how she left her position. Not only did her outburst forever crucify Charlo Greene, the Broadcast Journalist, it also could serve to mobilize the opposition. By behaving in a way that highlights all the negative stereotypes of cannabis users, she managed to affirm what her opponents say is a core danger of marijuana use — extreme apathy and anti-social behavior. It doesn’t matter if that’s true of all cannabis users; she just made it true in the minds of many. And that’s the kind of action that creates bad publicity and causes backlash. The question is, will the backlash be worse than any positive benefit derived from her actions? When you’re talking about your career and your future, that’s seldom a risk worth taking. Furthermore, she failed to consider what might happen should she have to go back to her old career. Most employers these days google a candidate’s name. If you’ve lived in a more reserved manner, then the worst mistake you’ve ever made probably won’t turn up on page one of the Google search engine. Not so for Charlo Greene. From now on, any time a potential employer looks her up, they won’t have to search far to see what she’s most known for. And if you run a TV station where you’re supposed to trust your employees to report the news and present a professional visage for the local viewing public, are you honestly going to trust someone who does this?
Never Depend Solely On The Generosity Of Others.
The world can be a nasty place. With the age of the Internet troll and political polarization, we go from reasonable to irrational in all of two seconds. Do one bad thing online, and you’re forever known for that snapshot in time no matter how much you evolve as a person. When you mess up so badly that you’ve burned every professional bridge across the country, your future is pretty much in the hands of other people and whether they choose to give you a second chance. Increasingly, this is not a society of second chances. Doing what Charlo Greene did to her now-former employer means that her future career pretty much depends on the generosity of others. Not a good time for that approach!
While we certainly wish Charlo Greene the best and hope that she can recover some semblance of a normal life, we certainly do NOT recommend her way of doing things if you’re locked in or working toward a career. More often than not, these types of impulsive decisions will skew toward the negative, no matter what happens in this one specific case.
If you do feel like you’re “losing it,” and you need a break from it all, talk to someone about your problems. Tell them where you’re at mentally and don’t make any rash decisions, especially when those rash decisions can be captured on video, uploaded to YouTube and played over and over again for as long as you’re in the workforce. With fierce global competition for most every job out there, increasing amounts of technological automation, and skyrocketing education costs, you can’t afford to be anything less than your best. Good luck.