We can’t escape from politics. At a time when Australians have real distaste for politics and politicians, we hear and see the messages everywhere, on the web, television, radio and print media. No matter whether we are motivated by straight reporting, radio talkback radio or studio discussions, it’s very easy to be influenced by and to identify with a particular viewpoint, or to form a dislike for a particular person or party because of a specific issue.
We have all been conditioned to some respect. Our enthusiasm may translate into active politicking, campaigning, activism or the expression of beliefs through a variety of social media. Of course, this is perfectly legal and acceptable when taken in moderation. But sometimes our feelings about current political issues can become a little heated for public consumption, particularly if our passions run counter to the prevailing opinions of the people we work with, or our clients and stakeholders.
Be aware, if you are currently engaged in a job search, you are likely to encounter people whose views are different to your own. Is it wise to be so open about your political beliefs that you are likely to encounter resistance or even active discrimination? You will certainly lessen your chances of securing the job you want if you express political beliefs that are not reciprocated. It’s wise to be cautious about publicly demonstrating your political loyalties.
If you must demonstrate your allegiances, be savvy about the manner in which you choose to do this. Show that you have made an educated choice by learning how to support your points. Understand where the opposing side is coming from, and form worthwhile counter-arguments. The most important thing is to remain professional and remember that others are entitled to opposing points of view. Don’t be tempted into personal responses and clever quips. Name-calling is an absolute no-no. If you respect the feelings and opinions of others, they will respect yours.
It’s up to you how you deal with the situation. There’s a price to pay for your “freedom of expression”, and not picking the right time can be counter-productive to your intentions. Only you can decide how much you want your right to free expression to become synonymous with the professional brand you have worked so hard to achieve. It’s a decision you have to make, you never know, if you are strategically smart, it may also become part of your “new” personal brand.