Think Before You Post

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In college, I took a class on "preparing for the real world." This included information on resumes, portfolios, selecting insurance and a retirement plan, etc. One piece of advice that was constantly reiterated is to be careful what you post on social media because your future employees will check your accounts during the job application process. This advice primarily applied to hiding photos from the weekend. 

Once you land a job, the same advice can still apply. What you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can negatively affect your employment. Cases like the woman who was fired because of an offensive tweet while flying to South Africa, or more recently the GOP aide who is resigning due to a Facebook post criticizing President Obama's daughters.

Both of these examples are from public relations or communications professionals and I have a hard time believing that they would advise a client or their company to make the same remarks. When working on someone else's communication strategy you tend to either overanalyze everything you say in your personal communication and are hypersensitive to how comments will be received by those around you, or you become too tired thinking three moves ahead and you let your guard down.

Although there is debate as to whether blanket bans on negative social media comments about workplace conditions being unconstitutional, it is a good rule of thumb to keep complaints about your boss, your company and your coworkers off of social media and to find a different means of addressing your concerns. Also refrain from posts about drug use (you would think this would be a given), poking fun at tragedies and racial slurs. 

Once it's on the Internet there is no taking it back. Use the same diligence keeping your social media profiles clean during your job hunt long after you have landed your job. 

Do you know of anyone who was fired due to something they posted on social media? Have any tips for thinking before you post?


Take-Hart said...

I do actually know someone who was fired due to posting an inappropriate photo of themselves at work and literally hash tagging the company name. Yikes. Most of the incidences I have heard of could definitely have been prevented with a little common sense!

I wish I could have taken a class like the one you mentioned. I think that type of class should honestly be offered in high school!

Jessica said...

As a nursing student, you have to be SUPER careful about posting on social media due to confidentiality laws. A girl in my program failed a clinical rotation for posting about a clinical experience on facebook. Scary, but I totally see why. Its a small world, you never know who will see your post!

Jess said...

I can only imagine all of the restrictions in health care! And you're right, you never know what friends of friends might see it, or who might share it.

Jess said...

Before the Internet, people told you to think before you speak and if only the same advice (and a little common) sense would be taken into consideration. The class was really helpful! We went through the book "What they don't teach you in college" and it's so helpful. I still keep it around and will reference it. Especially the section on how to buy a car when that time comes : ) I highly recommend it!

Camila said...

I think in this day and age it must be hard for the younger generation who were basically born with social media and everything. But to be honest, I feel this 'rule' applies to life in general - don't just say anything and everything, be respectful and think, and putting it on the Internet is just a more drastic version of that, as you said it is so permanent! I think it's always important to take a bit of distance before posting something that feels a bit emotional too - just to make sure it's appropriate :)

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

YEs! I work with high schoolers and we are telling them that they need to think before the post! Especially with the issue of sexting & snap chat! We just had a Cadet at the air force loose their scholarship for posting a picture of themselves on instagram not going to the flag ceremony - people can see what you post!

Ellen said...

Such a great post! So important to think before you speak and post!