In this day and age, we are all on some form of social media. Many of us use social networking both for our professional careers and for entertainment in our personal lives. No matter how often you sign in, it’s essential you remember that your presence on social media is a direct reflection of yourself. Before you post your next picture or comment, remember this- there are mistakes you could easily make online that could cost you your career.
Complaining: We all need to vent, but pay close attention to where these discussions are taking place. Sometimes when people are heated they don’t stop and take time to cool off before they react. If you immediately begin a rant online for the world to see, there is a strong chance you are jeopardizing your job. You may think your profile is private or your messages are safe, but anything online can be saved and shared. Save your venting for an in-person chat with someone outside your office that you can trust.
Posting tasteless pictures or posts: This seems obvious but sometimes what may seem like a fun or harmless picture or shared post can end up casting you in a bad light. You may be tempted to share photos from your late night out but think about if your supervisors were to see them. Would you be proud of the behavior? Would you want them to see that side of your life? Even if you find a certain post humorous, be careful before you share it with others or comment on it. Everyone’s senses of humor are different and what you find funny might really offend someone else. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry- so stay classy.
Playing hooky: Did you claim you had a family emergency or were sick when neither was really true? It’s up to you to make the best decisions for your life but remember if you’re online when you’re supposed to be unavailable, it could cost you. Your supervisors and colleagues always appreciate honesty and integrity, so if you need time off or even just a mental health day, be open about it. Ask for a little time to yourself, and your manager will know you’re being straightforward and trustworthy. Honesty is usually the best policy.