3 ways Kim Kardashian’s influence could ruin your career

Meredith Coburn

Let the record reflect I am not too embarrassed about citing Kim Kardashian as a work place role model. If anything, her recent marital woes are further proof of just how savvy a businesswoman she can be. Would she have said “I do” to Kris Humphries without an iron clad prenuptial agreement?

In the words of Kevin McAllister, “I don’t think so.”

Since news of the divorce broke on Halloween, conspiracy theories about Kim’s marriage have run rampant through the tabloids, questioning whether the marriage was really for love (as Kim claims on her blog) or (as Kristin Wiig so hilariously deadpanned on Saturday Night Live) “for attention.”

Media mogul she may be, recent events have also demonstrated Kim’s not-so-flattering side(s). So while you may want to take a page out of her little black networking book, here are three ways Kim Kardashian will not help you score your next job (or, for that matter, your next husband):

Overexposure is bad. Like, really bad.  

You know that friend you used to hang out with all the time until you got sick of each other? That friend was Kim Kardashian. When was the last time you didn’t see her on the cover of InTouch? When was the last time you logged on to Facebook or Twitter and didn’t see someone talking about her? And it’s not just coming from E! or trashy tabloids—even The Today Show interviewed Kris Jenner to get the inside scoop on “what went wrong” (and while I’m not sure which side I belong to, but I find it strangely convenient that Kim’s divorce just happen to coincided with the release of Jenner’s new book, “Kris Jenner …and all things Kardashian.”)

There’s nothing wrong with a little mystery, especially in the workplace. Your co-workers don’t need to know about how delicious your 10-tier, 6-foot, $15,000 wedding cake was, or about how bad your psoriasis has been this week. While it’s perfectly normal to form relationships with the people you work with, there’s a fine line between professional and please-go-away. 

Less is more.

According to US Weekly, more than 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the two-night, four-hour Kim’s Fairytale Wedding special event, six times the number of E!’s normal primetime viewers. One month later, however, Kardashian earned the title of “Most Annoying Celebrity” in Parade’s 2011 Pop Culture Poll. Some say the divorce backlash puts Kardashian in a corner with infamous reality TV mom Kate Gosselin of TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus Eight.” Although “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” was once a sensation, Gosselin’s reputation plummeted after she split from her husband and the media began to accuse her of exploiting her children for fame and money. 

In an interview with TheWrap, publicist Richard Laermer explains, “The only way people are going to stop hating her is if she goes away for awhile. But I doubt this woman will ever do that. She’d go nuts to be away for even five minutes.” 

What does this mean to you?

Being in your boss’s face all the time at work doesn’t do you any favors. In fact, it will almost certainly backfire. That doesn’t mean hide out in your cubicle all day, but you shouldn’t be approaching them about minor issues. If you’re considering whether to bring something to your boss’s attention, “rate” the issue on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being “Absolutely crucial” and 1 being “There is such a thing as a stupid question.”) When you put it into perspective, asking “When can I go on my lunch break?” definitely doesn’t fall into the do-or-die category.

There is such a thing as bad publicity.

If it’s true that both the wedding and divorce were just ploys for publicity, Kardashian has certainly accomplished her goal—but at what price? Everyone from New York Times columnists to Pulitzer Prize winning author Salman Rushdie has been lining up to take shots at Kim K. Rushdie even went as far as to pen a limerick about the reality star on Twitter. 

Jessica Frisky, a writer for TheFrisky.com, told TheWrap: “People can deal with the wedding being over-the-top, but to do that and then get divorced 72 days later, that is hard to swallow in this economy. When people are struggling to pay bills and rent, it doesn’t make average people feel much compassion.”

You might not be on Salman Rushdie’s radar, but you should definitely take steps to make sure your online persona is A+. The first place you should start? Facebook. Crank those privacy settings up as high as they can go and hide or un-tag any unflattering pictures. If you’re not sure what “unflattering” means, ask yourself: “Would I be embarrassed if my boss saw me do this?” If the answer is “yes,” the picture’s gotta go.

You should also Google yourself and see what pops up. Future employers often turn to this search engine if they’re torn between two candidates, or if they’re trying to narrow down a long list of applicants. Don’t make their decision an easy one—take down the picture of you doing a perfect keg stand and save yourself the disappointment.

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