I actually started to write the blog today while sitting in a lounge at the Sydney Airport. I was actually going to write the blog today on the importance of career management and not letting a spike in salaries be the determining factor in changing jobs. However, this can wait until another day. I have decided to write today about privacy and the importance of controlling your own personal information. I have been inspired to do so based on the events I have witnessed and overheard this afternoon in the Sydney Airport.

I had just finished meeting a very skilled General Manager, who I hope to be able to place with a client in a position in Brisbane very shortly, and I walked upstairs to the lounge, got myself a Hahn Premium, took a seat and opened my laptop. Sitting directly opposite to me was a lady who works in a prominent position for one of Australia’s leading political parties. She was having a very animated discussion on her mobile phone with a journalist and she went to great lengths to describe a former politician as a “grub” who is “on the nose” at head office. Remarkably, she told the journalist that if he or she leaked that information, she would come after them and they would never get a “scoop” again. She did not realise (or care) that she had leaked this information to the seven people working on their laptops within a three metre radius of her chair in the lounge.

Not to be out done, the gentleman sitting diagonally across from me began to speak in an animated fashion about a business transaction that he was hoping to conclude in the near term. Now, this would not ordinarily be an issue, however this gentleman is the Chairman of a publicly listed organisation who has been in the news recently. Surely, this information should not have been broadcast in such a liberal manner? I will watch their share price with a renewed interest from tomorrow.

Finally, I decide to open the internet and catch up with what is happening in the world of news and sport and the first article that I read is concerning my beloved and consistently under-performing Parramatta Eels. Parramatta have just signed South Sydney halfback, Chris Sandow and this has been the first major signing under new coach, Stephen Kearney. I could not believe my eyes when I read that the CEO of South Sydney, Shane Richardson, stated that Sandow left because he had found his own “Alan Bond” (a reference to the famous deal where the late Kerry Packer sold Channel Nine to Bond for $1billion) and that the owner Russell Crowe had tweeted that Sandow was offered a four year deal for $550,000 per season. Where was the respect for privacy? I couldn’t believe that these men decided to share financial information like this so liberally.

After reading this article, and quietly celebrating that Parramatta had finally purchased a halfback, I heard the call to go to Gate Four for my flight back to Brisbane. As I was logging out, I received an email from our employment law firm. They regularly send through information on changes to legislation and various updates. The article today was about privacy legislation and issued warnings about how business stored personal information and the penalties for breach. The irony was not lost on me.

At Optimum Recruitment, we have access to a great deal of personal information. This information includes career goals, salary information, referee reports etc. I can only hope that my team treats this information with a great deal more care than I witnessed today.

Brad McMahon – Managing Director

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