I was having a conversation with another manager about the Signaling effect that Marc talked about in a "Things" email last year (July 15). For those who don't get the email, the concept is that there are some companies that, as Marc puts it, "suggest to others a positive correlation with greater ability." He listed a few examples, Amazon being the first.
I am wondering if anyone here has seen an opposite effect. That is, are there companies that suggest a negative correlation with greater ability, professionalism, or other quality that you look for in an employee? We were specifically talking about people working at some traditional "first" jobs (fast food, retail, etc) and if that signaled something negative to future employers, particularly in fields where knowledge work is prevalent (as opposed to, say, other retail jobs or primarily task-based jobs) which is a large and expanding portion of today's careers.
What do you all think? I'm very interested to get opinions and insights from other professionals on the question.
(P.S. MT staff - I know I quoted Marc and talked about some members-only content. I tried to be relatively circumspect, but if you want me to take down or rewrite any of that info please let me know, as I don't want to step on any Intellectual Property gray areas. Thanks!)