Social media is fun, isn’t it? It’s a great way to express your personality and interests online, connect with old friends, share funny cat videos, and talk about the topics that matter most to you. But just about all of those things can also get you fired.
When you work for a company, you’re also a representative of that company. Most employers will hire someone not just because they have the right qualifications, but also because they embody what the company stands for. And whether you like it or not, your company is probably relying on you to keep up it’s good image, too.
So before you post another cat video or tag yourself in that really funny picture of you doing a keg stand over the weekend, think about how it can reflect you as an employee and your company. Here are a few other social media blunders to look out for.
Posting From Work
Nothing else says “caught red handed” like a Facebook update at 2:30pm on a Wednesday. If you’re using social media while you should be working, you don’t just have your job on the line but you can be looking at a lawsuit, too! Yes, sometimes work is boring and you’d rather be going through your friend’s latest photo albums but you should really do that on your own time. And even if you’re careful not to post anything while you’re using social media at work, having your boss walk by while you’re surfing the web can get you the boot right then and there.
Nobody loves their job. We all have bad days, run-ins with our co-workers, and disagreements with our supervisors. And when those things happen, it’s difficult not to fly off the handle. But don’t channel your anger into a blog post, tweet, or status. Again, getting fired isn’t the only thing on the line here. You can be sued for slander, public defamation, and even for a breach of a non-disclosure agreement. Also, don’t think you’re safe by “hiding” the post from your boss or by not being “friends” with them. Another employee could pass on your public rant, making the sting so much harsher.
No one is telling you not to have a social life; we’re just telling you not to showcase it on your social media profiles. Having pictures of you drinking (or even acting drunk), doing drugs, or getting involved in any other nefarious activities can not only get you fired but prevent you from getting a new job, as well. Manage your life first and foremost, but if you do slip-up at that one birthday party, start managing your online reputation. Furthermore, those kinds of pictures (or status updates about how much tequila you’re drinking) can also be bad news if you happen to show up hungover at work on a Monday morning. Incriminating evidence like that can also get you fired, even if you’re BAC is back to normal by 9 AM.
Again, you have a right to your personal life and personal opinions but as a representative of your company, you have to be mindful of what you say. Do you have strong feeling about a particular politician? Well, maybe it’s best if you don’t constantly update your status about it. Even if your post has nothing to do with your job, your company, or your boss, a few nasty sentences can be enough to show you the door. Respect the views and decisions of your company and keep the tweets about your feelings to a minimum.
Watch What Your Friends Say
Sometimes, your social media profile can get you fired with you having to lift a finger. Be careful of whom you’re friends with and what they post on your profile. The wrong person saying the wrong thing can be enough to anger your employer. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a new job, ask your friends not to post comments wondering how your job hunt is going. The actions your friends take can be just as detrimental to your career as the actions you take. Cover all your bases by keeping your friends in check, as well.
When we’re off the clock, we like to kick back and be ourselves. We’re free of the suits and ties, the bad break room conversation, and the constant pressures of our managers…or are we? Make smart decisions about how you use your social media profiles and keep in mind that anything you post, re-tweet, share, and like can reflect your company in a negative light, and that you’ll usually suffer the brunt of it. By all means, continue enjoying Facebook and Twitter but do so with an air of caution.