During a recent meeting with two longdtime friends, our conversation led to reminiscing about people and events from our past.

We played many seasons of youth sports together, so there were a lot of names and great memories discussed.

Eventually, the conversation moved to what some of our old acquaintances are up to more recently.

In a few cases, we chuckled at the career choices of some in light of the choices they made in their youth.

We concluded that you shouldn’t judge people, in particular for mistakes made while young.

Childhood is a time for making mistakes; it is a part of the learning process. I’m sure we all have a few mistakes in our youth that we would love to take back.

It is easy to forgive a person for a few poor decisions when you have seen them mature and make hundreds of good ones.

But what if your knowledge of a person was limited to just a few facts or a resume? It would be much harder to look past a poor decision.

Today, many employers do extra research when deciding who to hire and many companies turn to social media.

Most employers aren’t hoping to uncover a conspiracy; rather, they are looking to discover things about your character. They want to know if you are trustworthy.

In particular cases, social media has robbed the young of the ability move beyond poor decisions. Silly mistakes are now plastered online for all to see.

It seems that the youth are particularly prone to this. Some young ones have a burning desire to let the whole world know they are having a blast.

Make all the memories your want, but if you post pictures of yourself in a drunken stupor, a potential employer may have second thoughts.

Potential employers aren’t the only group of people who turn to social media for more information. This winter, I sat on a jury and discovered how social media could come back to haunt.

During the trial, the defense attorney attacked an important witness to the case. The attorney tried to poke holes in the witness’ story.

Things got interesting when the attorney used social media posts the witness had shared years before the alleged crime had occurred.

The posts were damaging to the case, but much more embarrassing to the witness. I doubt that individual ever imagined those posts would be used against them in front of an entire courtroom.

Someday, you may be self-employed, in which case you probably serve a clientele. Those clients and potential clients may want to know more about you than the shining bio you have posted on your website. They may look you up online.

It’s hard when you are a kid to make decisions based on your future job prospects, but that doesn’t mean you are exempt from the consequences of those decisions.

Take note that there is a correlation between how good a job is and how far a potential employer might dig.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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