10 Ways to Ruin Your Employment Through Social Networking Sites
Social Networking Sites May Actually Be a Bane for Present and Future Employment
Perhaps the biggest thing that could ever happen in the Internet in this decade is the boom of Social Networking Sites. Suddenly it seems that everybody who's in the online world is in Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, Multiply, MySpace, etc., etc. These sites enable us to post pictures, put in personal information, blogs and even resumes and basically just help us keep in touch with people we know or we love. Better yet, these sites have been godsends for those who want to promote their online business or articles (and even hubs).
BUT there is another side of the coin that some people unfortunately tend to forget. That these sites are in the Internet and everything one posts on these sites can be viewed by anybody, especially one's employer, past, current or future. Some (or a lot) of employers have taken to “googling” the names of their employees or prospective employees to find out if there’s anything they need to know about their current, past or prospective employees. And there have been cases of employees getting fired because of what they put on these sites. There have also been cases when the applicant was not accepted. All because these employers saw some things in the employee’s / applicant’s social networking site that they did not like. It is on these cases when we can honestly say that the social networking sites actually became a bane for these (poor?) employees.
So how do these social networking sites prove to be a disadvantage for the employee or job application? Here are some of the ways:
Okay, let’s say you’re an employee known to be meek or timid or silent (because you cultivated that image). Then having pictures in your Facebook account that show you wild and woolly in a party or having comments from some of your friends that show you do not possess these characteristics at all may make it look like you are pretending to be somebody whom you are not. And if there is anything an employer dislike, it’s having an employee who is not honest about himself / herself from the beginning. If you’re hiding this, what else are you hiding?
Telling a Lie (and Getting Caught at It)
You want to join your friends’ all-day, all week-end party but you know you don’t have anymore leaves from your company. What do you do? Call in sick and go to that party! Once you get back to the office, you pretend that you are still recovering from that sickness. What you don’t know is another friend has posted the party’s pictures in his/her Facebook account. Harmless enough, yes. But what if your boss happens to see that picture (and the date when it was taken)? Not quite harmless anymore, it might even get you fired because you lied to your employer.
Backbiting Your Current / Previous Boss
You resigned (or you got fired) from your previous job and is now applying for a new job. Then you post something in your Facebook account to this effect – “I’m free! Take that you overbearing, SOB Mr. ________!” Or you are still in your current job but want to get back at your boss because you dislike him / her so you announce this in your Facebook. You’re just venting on your site but that is not the way your current boss or prospective employer will view this comment if and when he/she sees it. If you wrote something like this for your boss, needless to say, you might (and will) do it again. Will they let you stay in your current job? Highly improbable. Or will you get the new job (if you applied for a new one)? Not bloody likely.
Saying Negative Things About Your Former Job / Company
Same scenario as the previous one, only this time you are saying something like this – “I never really liked that job or that company, the pay is very, very low, they don’t treat me right, the job is…” What you said may be true but to a prospective employer, it may mean that you are saying bad things about your former job / company as a way of getting back at them or that, simply, you are a chronic backbiter. Any prospective employer will think twice before hiring you, or may not even hire you at all, because they don’t want such problems to occur under their watch later on.
Posting Information About Your Company, Boss or Co-Worker
Be careful when posting information in your Facebook about your company or your boss or your co-worker or all three. Some of these may actually be confidential information or information that should not be leaked out if there’s no prior approval. Posting them in a social networking site means you are violating company policy. This will really get you fired or, worse, blacklisted (making it difficult for you to find other jobs in the future).
Drugs, Booze and S*x
You’re young and you are still enjoying your life to the fullest. So you party all night, drink lots of alcohol and take in some “drugs”. You have your pictures taken to show your "coolness". Then you post all of your pictures in your Facebook because you think it's cool and the “in” thing to do. What else? Oh and you indicated that your idea of fun is to have one-night stands with strangers or anybody who has taken your fancy. These behaviors are not condoned by any employer worth his / her salt (they’re not condoned also by the average people) and if they want to avoid getting headaches or lawsuits or sexual harassment problems later on, they definitely will not hire you.
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Racist / Sexist or Political Comments
Putting in remarks that may make you look like a racist or a sexist (even though in reality you are not) will make you unacceptable to your prospective employer (again because of the potential lawsuits and sexual harassment cases later on). Or you made known your political affiliation in your networking site, which happens to be the opposite of your boss’ or your prospective employers’ beliefs or convictions. Although the latter may not get you fired (for your current job), it is safe to say that it will be a long time before you get a promotion (if you get promoted at all). As to the new job, don’t be surprised if your prospective employer does not hire you. Better to be safe than sorry, that’s their motto.
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Pictures That Tell Stories
So you like updating your site or your tweets every day. Or you love online gaming and want to have a go at it every chance you get. Then you take pictures showing you doing these tasks and upload them in your Facebook. Unfortunately, the stamped time indicated that you did all these in the wee hours of the morning. Worse, one of the pictures showed that you played online games in your laptop in the office. This is a major career mistake. No employer will want to see their employee playing games (instead of working) in the company-issued computers or laptops. Even if it’s in the early hours of the morning, no employer will also like seeing their employee staying up late every night playing online games or tweeting or updating his / her Facebook. And then you come in late in the morning and work sluggishly during the day – you will definitely not have a job at the end of the day.
Wrong Grammar and Typos
Okay, so this may not actually get you fired or may not stop you from getting a job, but you have to admit, this is definitely a negative point for you. It indicates a degree of sloppiness your employer (or future employer) does not want to see transferred to your job output. And what if you are applying to become a journalist or a writer? Then you most definitely will have trouble getting that job.
Revealing Too Many Information
So you have already passed the interview and you are confident that you will get the job. But, you did not! Why? Because you posted in your Facebook account that you have an ongoing application to go to another country or for another job (that you like more than this one). What more, you also posted that you are just bidding your time before you leave or get the other job. This will really make it impossible for you to get that new job. Prospective employers are looking for long-term employees (unless the job is really temporary) and they will not relish knowing that their best candidate is actually not interested on a long-term career path in the company. Even if you have the best credentials for the job, chances are the company will look for another one that will fit well with their long-term plans. Besides, the employer does not want to hire somebody who is about to leave in a few weeks (or months), thereby making them go through the same process all over again. It’s a waste of their time and their money.
So there you have it. Any of these familiar to you? Social networking sites (I cited Facebook here but there are a lot more of these sites) are here to stay and they have given a big boost to internet usage and the online world. But they are still virtual and are open to anybody and everybody who wants to view them. So, be careful in what you put in inside these sites because you'll never know. Your current job or even your next job may hinge on the contents of your networking sites. Until then, prudence is still the name of the game.
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