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The Impact of Social Networking on Your Career

Updated on November 8, 2011

Social networking is a common part of many employees’ lives and is an easy way to keep in touch with friends, co-workers and family. However, many people fail to recognize the impact social networking activities may have in their career, even years down the line.


Social Networking Usage in the Workplace

It can be tempting for you to check your Facebook or MySpace account on company time. Twitter helps pass the hours during those unbearable workdays and many employees don’t think twice about using social networking sites at work. More and more employers are tracking their employees’ internet usage and are firing or disciplining workers who are abusing company internet access during work hours.

Social networking should not be used on company time or be kept to a minimum when at work. You may not think that having your FaceBook page up at work is a big deal, but managers do tend to walk around and check on their employees’ productivity. Numerous offenses may represent in an informal reprimand or become a part of an employee’s permanent record. This can affect annual performance reviews and qualification for additional monetary compensation.

Social Networking During Company Time

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Social Networking and Professional Contacts

Many people have co-workers and even bosses listed as friends on social networking sites. This can be a major mistake, especially if you post pictures of yourself doing shots of tequila on a day when you called in sick. If workers choose to allow professional contacts access to their social networking activities, extreme caution should be used.

Social networking activities can have an impact on future employment as well. Prospective employers often do internet searches on possible candidates and tend to take online presences into account when picking a person to fill an open job position. Employees should keep their social networking profiles private to avoid possible employment discrimination.

Professional Social Networking Alternatives

There are several professional social networking alternatives, such as LinkedIn, that you may want to look into when deciding how to handle friend requests from colleagues. These sites are geared toward career networking and can serve as a professional way to keep in touch with former colleagues.


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