Social Networking and Your Job: Lessons from the "Cisco Fatty"
Tania Khadder, AdminSecret
Watch what you say
Avoid badmouthing your boss, company or co-workers. Don’t tweet about your “soul-crushing office job”, or how many Sudoku puzzles you managed to solve this afternoon, while you were supposed to be finishing up that status report. If you called in sick, don’t post pictures of your day at the mall with your best friend. Similarly, if your boss can see that you updated your status 12 times between 2pm and 4pm, took twelve quizzes and wrote 25 things about yourself, they will probably (rightly) assume you have been less than productive.
Watch that comic streak
It sounded funny in your head. It may even have read funny to your friends. But to someone who doesn’t know you, it was crude and derogatory. Keep in mind that taken out of context, a lot of otherwise hilarious comments might be construed as offensive. A few LOLs are just not worth the risk.
Be mindful of multimedia
Did you have an awesome weekend of all-night shenanigans? Drink so much you couldn’t get out of bed on Sunday? Great. We really don’t need to see the photographic evidence. The same goes for video. We also don’t need to see pictures of you posing in your bikini or boxer briefs. And beware of friends tagging you in photos of a less-than-professional nature. Check in regularly, and un-tag yourself as necessary. If the site allows it, block users from tagging you.
Google yourself regularly to see what’s out there. It’s a fact – employers are googling their employees, present and potential, to gain as much information as possible. Former Delta Air Lines flight attendant Ellen Simonetti lost her job because she posted suggestive pictures of herself in uniform on her blog, even though she didn’t name the airline itself. And while you could argue that Ellen’s job loss was the result of poor judgment on her part, sometimes, your online reputation is beyond your control. Comments, reviews and media posted by other people may come up in a search for your name. If you stumble across something questionable, try and get it removed. If you cannot remove it, be prepared to explain it.
In an age where we feel the need to share every mundane thought or activity with the world, it’s probably smart to exercise a bit of restraint. When it comes to Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or any other social networking site, keep it absolutely private or keep it absolutely professional. At the very least, keep it classy. Your professional reputation is not worth jeopardizing over a snarky remark, however cute or hilarious it may seem. You might just find yourself laughing all the way to the unemployment office.