Don’t hit “send” when you’re seething. Think twice before hitting “Reply all.” And always, always give that on-the-job e-mail that you're composing your undivided attention because e-mail blunders can go viral and in this tough economy, result in a pink slip and a quick trip to the unemployment offices.
Such are the findings of a national survey developed by the Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, creative, and Web professionals on a project basis.
"Nearly eight in 10 advertising and marketing executives polled confess they’ve made a mistake when sending e-mail," the Creative Group said in a press release. "When asked to name the worst snafu they or others they know have made on the job, the responses ranged from erroneously sending out an employee’s salary information to the entire company to recalling a nasty e-mail about the boss that made its way to top management."
Among the common and sometimes career-ending mistakes that the canny professional should seek to avoid: Mistakenly e-mailing the wrong message to the wrong person, accidentally sending out an e-mail blast that includes salary information or other personal data to the entire staff, unwittingly e-mailing your current boss the resume for your new job search, and sending naughty photos as attachments when spread sheets and charts are the order of the day.
“E-mail mistakes can be painfully visible and viral,” Megan Slabinski, executive director of the Creative Group, said in a statement. “Professionals must be especially careful in this economy not to do anything that could cause employers to question their competence or judgment, and that means paying close attention when sending any kind of message, particularly if the information is sensitive.”
As an added precaution, Slabinski recommends that all hands to adopt this workplace e-mail mantra - Always keep it professional.
And in Boston, workplace e-mailers would be well advised to recall the wisdom of one of the city's most storied politicians, Martin Lomasney, who once said: "Never write if you can speak. Never speak if you can nod. And never nod if you can wink."
(Historical sources vary on the precise wording of the quote, but the gist is always the same.)
Lomasney, who died in 1933, would likely have had little to do with e-mail.