December 21, 2011
Social Media: The Career Killer
When I'm not editing Feather, I work at a news wire service. We have a policy on social media that helps me figure out what I can and cannot say, while still keeping my job.
If your profile is private and you know everyone who follows you, then you may not have to watch what you say as much, but be careful. People can retweet things from private accounts and employers can find it. You can still be yourself, but just a toned-down version. Save the awesome and uncensored version for your friends and family.
Because not every workplace has a social media policy, here are a few tips:
Keep your sex life to yourself. I cannot count how many sexual tweets and retweets I see coming across my feed. It's pretty much never acceptable, but if you want to go into detail about the last time you hooked up with a guy, make sure your profile is private or you will never get a job with a company that looks up social media profiles. Unless you aspire to work for an adult entertainment company, in which case your tweets are completely appropriate.
Remember your audience. My boss follows me on Twitter. On Facebook, I'm connected with co-workers and former professors. I have to stay mindful of this whenever I write a status update or share something controversial. I also have followers who read Feather, so I have to keep our code of conduct in mind, as well. You're a representation of the people you work for, so make sure you're not hurting their image.
Don't talk about your co-workers. People will make you mad at work sometimes, but text or call a friend and vent, don't use social media. You'll end up making it even easier for the supervisor who has it in for you to get your fired if she has proof you've been bad-mouthing her because it makes the company look bad when you do.
What are some rules you follow to make sure you don't lose your job over social media?