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Some advice on work savvy, emotional intelligence for those new to the workplace
A Yelp employee was fired after she posted an online "letter" to the company CEO. While Yelp says the timing was coincidental, it raises questions about what's appropriate, emotionally intelligent when it comes to work-leisure intersection. - photo by Lois M Collins
As parents and young people prepare for the latter to graduate and take more than baby steps into the world of work and continuing education, they're likely talking about some of the do's and don'ts that can impact young futures sometimes badly.

That's a real consideration when it comes to the intersection between one's online life and work, according to experts.

One of the first things a young employee needs to demonstrate is "emotional intelligence," according to Justin Bariso, founder of Insight, in a post published by Inc. "If you read my column, you know I write a lot about the role emotional intelligence (EQ) plays in the world of business. EQ involves the ability to recognize and understand your emotions, and to use that information to guide decision-making. Building EQ can prove very useful by shaping our communication in a way that gets people to listen with a more open mind," he wrote.

Among his examples is a letter posted on Medium by former Yelp employee Talia Jane, 25. She took on "former" status after the letter was posted, though the company first said the fact she was fired has nothing to do with the letter, then later said the missive violated a company policy.

The letter addressed to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was a mishmash of complaints that range from being told it will take her about a year to be promoted from her entry-level position, to the high cost of living in San Francisco, low salary and not being able to afford food, among other things. The letter reportedly went viral over the weekend.

Bariso uses the letter to share advice on using emotional intelligence in the marketplace. "Don't go live when in an emotional state," he writes. He also noted that "if we approach people in a calm and reasonable manner, our chances are much higher that they respond in the same way."

Other advice includes being aware that one cannot "turn back time," meaning that even if the attention gained from the letter is a good thing in the short-term, it can't be undone should it prove a hindrance with future employers. It's out there. Online. And it cannot be wished away.

The Deseret News explored the value of emotional intelligence and how to foster it in kids. It's as important as teaching children basic rules of safety and behavior. The article said that "in a survey for NBC's Parent Toolkit, American moms and dads listed social and communication skills as the most important piece of a child's future success.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning said teaching skills like empathy, active listening and using teamwork to solve problems not only helps kids develop positive traits, but prevents unhealthy and high-risk behaviors. Kids attending schools that teach emotional intelligence score 11 percent higher on academic achievement tests, according to the collaborative, a national project to promote academic, social and emotional competence for students.

"Experts say emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Parents can tackle its development with great intention," it said.

Sometimes, adults can learn a few pointers from their children, as well. The blog posits a question about online behavior: "Who is more likely to post an embarrassing photo online, a 7th grader or his/her parent?"

It continues, "If you answered 'a 7th grader' then youd be wrong. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center called Reputation Management and Social Media, adults share personal information online more freely than young people."

The point being made by author Diana Graber, co-founder of CyberWise, is that adult behavior online sometimes shows a lack of judgment and respect for others and that's a problem that can spill into the workplace, as well.

While online behavior can help or hurt the overall impression one makes on others, it's not a good idea to avoid the digital world entirely. "If you can't be found online at all or if Googling your name leads a recruiter or employer down a NSFW rabbit hole youre sending the wrong message," wrote U.S. News' Jada Graves. "Safeguard your Twitter feed and Facebook timeline."

Graves quotes Andrea Kay, author, career consultant, speaker and columnist: "Before you post a comment online, think: Is it stupid, thoughtless and insensitive? How will this affect my company? How could this be interpreted by someone who doesnt know me? And remember that anything you write emails included can be easily forwarded and read by someone you may not have intended to read them.

Graves also calls out "complaining too much," writing, "Neither your professional nor personal circle will want to hear too much of your griping. If youre miserable at your job, make moves to find a new one."
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