Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to you is becoming wildly successful...
Many people fail to realize the time, energy and effort it takes to be successful in Social Media. It's true that you can definitely reap the rewards of that success, but it's also true that sometimes being too successful can become overbearing and unmanageable. The truth is that you would much rather get to the point of being wildly successful and figuring out how to manage it all than having the Social Media equivalent of crickets when you try to connect online.
The personal brand and the corporate brand are heading towards a head-on collision.
Todd Defren over at PR Squared had a great Blog titled, Our Corporate Brand Is Cramping My Personal Brand, in which he states: "...star employees will carefully evaluate the reputation and socialstreams of their would-be employers, to determine whether they want to associate their personal brand with that of the corporation." And, while it's hard to imagine that a young person just out of University might turn down a decent wage because of what it might do to their personal brand, there's another interesting twist to that scenario...
Brands may not hire individuals with significant digital footprints.
Sure, many corporations would kill to have a mini-Chris Brogan or a micro-Gary Vaynerchuk on staff, but who amongst us is not constantly in awe of their content output? Whether it's Blogging, Podcasting, tweeting, checking-in, status updates and beyond, more often than not, the first question I am asked by those in the corporate world is, "when do these people find the time?" (the real answer to that question is: this stuff is - for the most part - a huge chunk of their job). Will a company really want to hire someone after they evaluate this person's online presence and can see (minute-by-minute) how much time and effort it takes? At the end of the day, there is a job to do. I'm reminded of the many corporate Social Media policies and guidelines I've seen that have the line: "remember: work first, Social Media after."
Most companies are looking for a team player... not someone out for their own glory.
The other component is that the perception (right or wrong) of a strong online presence could also lead the company to think that this individual is not a team player. That it's all about their personal brand and their own positioning instead of putting the corporate needs first. That they are a one-person army. Whether or not that makes us cringe, it's a fair corporate statement to make. Most individuals with significant digital footprints can be perceived that way. Personally, I've heard this about myself in the Marketing industry (if people only knew how much of my day and night is spent working on growing the business of our clients at Twist Image).
Too much of a good thing.
In the end, I'm not sure that an individual would refuse to take a position with a company because they're not active/smart in Social Media. I'm also not sold that a company would not hire an individual who has a significant digital footprint because they may be worried that the individual will spend too much time working on their personal brand instead of the business at hand. But, it's interesting to think about a world where individuals do have a personal brand that has as much (or equal) to significance as those of corporate brands and how that plays out in the corporate world and the Social Web... because we are at that unique moment in time.
Do you think Twitter can kill a great job opportunity? What's your take?