Today I am going to speak about using social media and more specifically Facebook in the workplace. How to job-proof your Facebook page, should you accept your boss’ friendship request and what to post online. Also, I am going to share a few stories about people getting fired because of a Facebook post.
First, all people know that the business networking site is LinkedIn. It’s professional, you add only people from the business field and you are very cautious about information that you share. Unfortunately, same can’t be claimed about Facebook. There people add friends, family and random contacts. They share what they do on a Friday night; they upload pictures of their vacations, meals, selfies etc. But what if you manager or boss sees these kind of posts? Your Facebook page could be an obstacle before you even have a job. Everybody knows that today it is common for employers to check their future employee’s online profiles. If this person sees indecent or inappropriate content they won’t even bother to call you after the interview. To avoid such situations first, you must check your privacy settings; ensure that the audience for all post and photos is set to ‘friends’. Same can be done on Twitter and Instagram. Second, you must try to control tagging because even if you have made your setting private, your friends might not. Third, under no circumstances mention your employer’s name of company. Use common sense, assess each post and picture by asking yourself “Is it possible that this loses me a job interview? or “Can I get fired for this?”.
If your boss wants to be friends with you in social media, you have a few choices:
- Deny the invitation (and risk distancing a relationship with your boss you could develop)
- Ignore the invitation
- Accept the friend request (and let your boss see your private life and the pictures from last Saturday night)
- Accept the request but create a filter that allows him to see only certain types of information
I estimate that the last option is the most appropriate. By accepting your manager’s request you will not alienate from him, but you will also not let him see all your personal content. Creating a filter is not a hard job but it’s very useful.
Finally, as promised, here are a few Facebook posts that got people fired and the stories behind them.
Starting with my personal favorite
Date: Nov. 11, 2007
Kevin Colvin was an intern at Anglo Irish Bank. He wrote his supervisor that he needed to miss work because of a “family emergency.” On the next day he posts this picture on Facebook, it occurred that he just wanted to go to a Halloween party. Not surprisingly he was fired and the image was e-mailed to the entire office.
Date: Feb. 27, 2009
Kimberley Swann was fired because of the status she wrote on her first day on a new job. It said: “first day at work. omg . So dull!!”. The message found its way to upper management three weeks later and Swann was dismissed.
Date: Decemeber 2009
Ambulance worker Dawnmarie Souza labeled her boss a “dick” and a “scumbag.” on Facebook.
Could she’ve been any more rude? Being that Souza broke the company’s Internet policy she was excused.
Date:April 27, 2011
Cameron Reilly was a Buckingham Palace Guard didn’t fancy the treatment he received from Kate Middleton heading up to her wedding. So he did what anyone would do, posted on Facebook: “hur and william drove past me on friday n all a got was a shitty wave while she looked the opposite way from me, stupid stuck up cow am a not good enough for them! posh bitch am totally with u on this 1 who reely gives a f*** about hur.” The Royal Couple took matters into their own hands.