JOB SEARCH / NOV. 19, 2013
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You Can Still Get a Top Job Even With a Shady Background

Nowadays, job seekers are being vetted almost as much as potential employees for an intelligence agency. It is interesting then to think that many people in top jobs throughout the world have shady pasts! How on earth did they get to the top when such scrutiny is placed on each applicant in the job seeking process? Did they lie their way to the top? Or, was it just pot luck and a thoughtless HR manager that got them to where they are today? Whatever the reasons, it is never long before the media get wind of juicy gossip and throw these seemingly upstanding characters of society to the dogs.  The truth will always prevail, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the truth will result in getting fired. In fact, for some rather influential people, it has simply added to their already wild character!

The most recent case of course is that of 63 year old Co-Op Bank Chairperson and Methodist preacher, Paul Flowers. While seeming to be an upstanding citizen he was caught on film recently purchasing Cocaine. It has since emerged that he was using Cannabis, Crystal Meth, and GBH. He wasn’t that competent of a bank manager really either as this has only emerged due to the poor performance of the Co-Op Bank under his leadership.

Robb Ford, 44, the current Mayor of Toronto has been under a lot of scrutiny over the past year although he has always been an outrageous character. The mayor of the Fourth largest city in North America was been getting into trouble with the law and making politically incorrect comments long before he was elected. This year though he has been caught on camera smoking crack cocaine and making murderous threats. He has also admitted to having a drinking problem and it is alleged that he was making sexual comments to a female member of staff. Despite all of this he has refused to step down and he cannot be removed from office unless he is charged with a crime. Perhaps it is this kind of attitude makes him appear like more of a normal guy to voters; it may actually get him re-elected.

If you think that employees at top Universities like MIT are all geniuses, your faith may be somewhat shaken. Sadly, a former Dean of admissions at MIT, Marilee Jones,62, managed to work there for 28 years before they discovered that she had no Third Level Education. Despite stating she had both an Undergraduate and a Master’s degree, she had neither! She resigned shortly after the truth was discovered. She is currently a college admissions consultant at the Berklee College of Music.

Scott Thompson, 56, the previous CEO of Yahoo was found to have lied about having a Computer Science degree and only had an Accounting Degree. Despite this he had been a very effective executive at PayPal and Visa prior to working for Yahoo. It is perhaps because of this that they didn’t immediately fire him. However, Yahoo did announce that he had left the company in 2013 after joining in 2012. Even with this deception he is now CEO of ShopRunner.

Former Bausch & Lomb CEO Ronald Zarrella, 64, lied about having an MBA from NYU, however, he merely started the program but never finished it. But when this emerged he was not dismissed because he was seen as too valuable to the company; until 2008 when the company received "extensive product recall and hundreds of product liability lawsuits."

Given the questionable past and actions of these people, it is strange to think they actually managed to remain in their top jobs, at least for while, after being found out. How does it make you feel about the banking crisis when you realise that the Co-Op Bank was being run by someone who is taking Cocaine? Shocking. But at the same time, it can make you hopeful; if you can get to the top smoking crack with little or no further education, then surely I have a chance!

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