The internet is seriously awesome. We’re more connected than ever before, which allows us to make career moves through sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed.
But the internet can also be dangerous for your career if you’re not careful.
The next time you want to post on social media, think twice before you make a damaging career move. A growing number of companies are now using social media as a tool to keep their employees in check. In a recent poll, 18% of US employers fired employees over what those employees have posted online.
If you’re eyeing a promotion or currently looking for a job, you may want to reign in your social media posts a bit. Check out these 7 damaging career moves online that have resulted in a job loss, and for some, the end of a promising career:
Online Behaviors that Could Damage Your Upcoming Career Moves
1. Not keeping your emotions and behavior in check
Do this instead: Keep your emotions and behavior to yourself
An Atlanta-based personal banker once went on a racist rant, which became viral overnight. Bank of America, her employer, was soon inundated with complaints about her social media post. Days later, the bank responded to the complaints and said they have fired the offending employee.
Since then, that employee deleted her Facebook account, and her current employment status remains unknown.
Protocol School of Texas in San Antonio’s Diane Gottsman, who is a specialist in corporate etiquette, said never underestimate your boss’ knowledge about social media:
“You need to assume that every boss and potential employer knows how to use Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and post from the standpoint that everyone is watching even if in reality they’re not.”
2. Not curating how your work life is online
Do this instead: Keep engagement (and relationships) with your co-workers and boss professional
Since you spend a huge chunk of your day at work, you’re most likely going to create some deep relationships with your co-workers, and maybe even your boss, too. Over time, your relationships can get more casual. It could lead to you being “in a relationship” with a co-worker, or be looser at well-documented company parties. Of course, your relationship with your co-worker will be on social media on full display.
Randstad Professionals regional managing director Anthony Graziano identifies these as “career killers.” If your work life is well-documented online, Graziano said any unprofessional behavior will literally haunt you, especially if you’re eyeing for a higher position. Moreover, companies who hold their executives to the moral high ground will reconsider hiring someone who has an unprofessional work history documented on social media.
3. Mocking your customers or clients
Do this instead: Share your concerns with your boss, and how it could have been resolved instead
Occasionally, you’ll meet a difficult client who can affect your day. It’s REALLY tempting to rant about it as a clever Facebook status with your friends. This damaging career move, however, will only show your boss that you’re not able to handle difficult situations. If you’re handling client-focused departments like sales and operations, your boss might reconsider his promotion plans for you.
If you feel like venting about a bad experience with a client, avoid calling them out online. Step back, calm down, compose yourself, and put your mobile phone down. If you’re stuck with a difficult client, work with them with a cool head.
If the client is not satisfied with you, ask your client if they prefer to work with another person. Chances are, they’re willing to work out the problem with you.
Also, you can always vent about it with your immediate superior. Your boss can provide a new perspective on the situation, and a solution if it happens again.
4. Complaining about your boss
— Claire L Raymond (@ClaireLouise_R) May 18, 2017
Do this instead: Be open with your boss about your concerns with him, and how it could be resolved
Letting everyone on Facebook know that you hate your boss is one of the worst mistakes you can make online. Whether you like it or not, your boss will play a vital role in your next job or promotion.
If you think your boss doesn’t recognize you as a valued member of your team or company, handle it like a pro. Share your concerns directly with him, and how you’d like things to happen moving forward. Your boss will thank you and will hold you in high regard for your honesty and respect.
5. Seeking “success” elsewhere
Do this instead: Open up with your boss about taking on new roles or responsibilities
While it can be tempting to consider another company (and sharing this very idea online), social etiquette dictates that you should keep this under wraps. On the other hand, instead of seeking an opportunity with a different company, have you considered pursuing other opportunities within the company you’re in now?
Life coach Adrienne Masler believes that it’s important for one to see a work career as a series of opportunities, which is key for continued growth. Talk it out with your boss, and make him realize what strengths you currently have that can contribute to your company.
If you’re currently struggling at work, open up to your boss about your struggles with your current position. They are usually willing to work with you on how to overcome your work cut. Your boss might even offer a new role or responsibility you might enjoy doing.
6. Posting personal content that sullies your professional reputation
Do this instead: Be sensitive (or careful) about what you share online
Goofing around at work and sharing it on social media like this guy did sounds fun and innocent. However, your funny Facebook status post could be seen as strong evidence of you violating workplace rules.
Establishing a successful career requires maintaining a wholesome, professional appearance online. As such, content or posts that may be wholesome or innocent for you might not be seen as such by your colleague or boss.
If you feel the need to share something funny or you think is clever online, first think about the people who will see it. Stop and think first if the photo is offensive before publishing it. If you need an opinion, share it only with the people you can trust before posting it.
7. Using text language
Do this instead: Spell everything out, and use proper punctuation marks
But I’m using my mobile phone, you say, so why is this a big deal? Let me ask you a question instead: do successful people post comments, replies, and tweets in text language?
Using texting language might not be viewed as offensive, but it will certainly indicate your level of professionalism. Moreover, it also shows the person does not have the capacity to express thoughts without messing up the English language. 66 percent of employers who participated in a Jobvite survey revealed that they frown upon a candidate’s poor spelling and grammar on social media.
Check out The Talko’s top 10 insane social media posts below that had gotten them fired from their jobs, and have damaged careers:
It’s easy to blame social media when you share your posts or comments that might be inconsiderate or unprofessional to others. However, common sense dictates you should observe a little bit of caution every time you post something online. Once a damaging post is made online, it can affect your career moves online and make it that much harder for you to bounce back and be known as the professional that you believe you are. It’s always best to avoid making these career-damaging moves that can create doubt about your credibility as a professional.
Did you make any of these damaging career moves online that put your job in jeopardy? How did you recover from it? Share us your stories in the comment section below.