More and more, people think of themselves as brands. What in the long-ago past used to concern only large corporations, has trickled down, through athletes and celebrities and influencers, to become a day-to-day consideration of everyday folk. The rise of social media has given everyone their own internal PR shops.
Not that everyone uses it wisely. Sure, some people find jobs on social media and promote themselves on social media and drive their career goals through the savvy application of social media content. Other people find they’ve committed career suicide with an ill-advised tweet.
Don’t fall into that second category. Leverage social media to your benefit, rather than play career chicken with a joke about immigration policy.
With that in mind, here are three potential job-killing things you can do on social media:
Rant About Work
Everyone needs to let off steam. Work is full of frustrations, annoyances and petty irritations. Even jobs that are usually exciting and fulfilling come with aggravating downsides. But social media isn’t the appropriate place to air those grievances.
Even if your posts don’t directly lead to action at work, they can poison the atmosphere in the office. Co-workers and managers can internalize resentment. Then, a long way down the road, that joke you made about Carol’s homemade cookies ends up blocking your career in ways you don’t even realize.
Complain to your family at dinner. Rant to trusted co-workers at happy hour. Vent to your friends on the weekends. But leave any complaints about work off public forums like social media.
Too Much Party Time
For the most part, your free time is your own. Your employer gets you for 40 or so hours a week, and you get the rest of the time to do what you want. So, it might seem unfair that anything you do in your off-hours would impact your job. Unfortunately, life can be unfair sometimes.
Say you report an injury at work. Then, during the subsequent investigation, they discover videos on your timeline showing you belly flopping through a burning card table during a tailgate party. It will jeopardize your workers’ comp.
Less dramatically, say you call in sick. Then, someone at work notices your posts from the night before, bragging about the tequila-drinking contest you won. The posts likely won’t lead to direct action, but they could tarnish your reputation.
Generally, gaining a reputation as a party animal can’t help your overall position in the corporate hierarchy. As unfair as it seems, managers will take that kind of thing into consideration, even if just in an informal way, when making decisions related to promotions or increased responsibility.
This is the one that can truly derail your position at a company. We use “derail” pointedly, in that the consequences can come suddenly and send your career violently off its path, leaving you to pick through the wreckage.
Yes, freedom of speech is a thing. But your employer isn’t interested in that. They are interested in keeping their clients happy and fostering a positive environment for all their employees. They aren’t going to the barricades for your first amendment rights. They are more likely to head down to HR to figure out the best way to ease you out.
And yes, maybe you were joking. But maybe getting a potential laugh from some remote reader you can’t even see isn’t worth your livelihood. Stay away from controversial subjects. It’s just safer.
Navigating a career path in the current world of social media and technological advancement can induce significant anxiety. Better to have a partner to help you steer through the murky waters of the current job market. By teaming with a first-rate recruiter like PrideStaff, you get the advice you need to maximize your career outcomes. Contact our top recruiters today to learn more.