Social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogging, etc) can be a great way to communicate and catch up with friends, old and new, but it can certainly have a downside as well. The problems most often occur when the line between personal and professional life is crossed. So what should you avoid, at all costs, while using social media if you want to keep your job? Here’s a starter list!
1. Commenting about your boss, co-workers or clients. Even something you might think is funny can be interpreted very differently by others. It’s not work the risk. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t post anything nasty or negative about those folks either. You might not be friends with your boss on Facebook, but someone else who is may comment on your post and, ta-da, now your boss sees it as well. Show restraint.
2. Pictures that show you doing anything illegal or against company policy. Pictures have a way of following you, floating around in cyberspace. You should also be thoughtful of others. Don’t post pictures of your friends being naughty either! You won’t be doing them any favors.
3. Using social media to let everyone know you’re in the market for a new job…while you still have one. Someone in the office is bound to find out and it’s just a matter of time before your boss knows as well.
4. Calling in sick and then updating the world on your activities of the day, unless that activity is “Still waiting to get in to see the doctor.” Do not, under any circumstances, post pictures of your day at the beach or comments on the awesome snow on the slopes. That will not earn you any promotions and could get you fired.
5. Using social media at work. Sure, Twitter and Facebook are fun, but chances are good that your boss isn’t paying you to have fun. If you are spending lots of time using them, you are not getting lots of work done. Save it for home and it might save your job.
The list could go on and on. The most important things you can do to avoid trouble is to know your company’s policies and show some restraint and discretion. If you’re not sure, don’t post or share!