Mr. Social Media

Several recruiters have installed in their behaviors the habit of checking the candidates’ social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, in order to get more ideas about their behaviors, beliefs, and political views. Any blog or website, like LinkedIn, which might contain some information about the candidate, is checkable.

Any source of information about you is needed somewhere, and that source becomes highly importance when YOU write about yourself and express your own ideas.

Of course, nobody has the right to prevent you from expressing yourself. This is a universal rule. Yet, you need to pay attention, whenever you are writing something on your Facebook wall or tweeting or writing anything in any other website. From time to time, media reveals that someone has lost his job because of a single sentence. This happened to several people around the world and the best examples I can illustrate here are Justine Sacco and Connor Riley.

On Facebook some people put caricatures in which they express how small the wages they get are. For them, it is nothing more than a way to show that they really have a financial problem. Sometimes they do not even mean that. They just find a picture and post it, or just get identified in their friend’s posts. On the employers’ side, it means what it means!

They might understand it as being described as STINGY, or even not giving their employees what they deserve. They may believe that the trainee is thinking of money only and all what he said about his future with the company, during the interview, and the good ideas he expresses in the office are just misleading lies.

They get hurt, because posting that kind of pictures is a message to competitors that the employer is not treating his employees well, and they are just looking for the first opportunity to leave the job. More, it DOES hurt the company reputation, unfortunately.

These are the consequences of sharing or posting one single picture on your Facebook wall. If all your posts reveal the same idea, your employer will categorize you immediately as unfaithful.

A trainee who shares posts which promote a political party, which could not be on good terms with that supported by the employer or the company owner, might create troubles for his future with the company.

This clearly pops up in some countries, in which there are big political troubles, and Lebanon is a good example. There, to what party you belong is as important as your degree and experience.

This happens in countries with different fighting races too. If you belong to a minor group which is not OK with the regime, my advice is to keep your political belonging away from your social media. You can keep it for yourself, as long as you need the job. If you do not like the regime of your country, you can express that when you are with people, who share the same ideas, and never post it on your social media account. If problems are not looking for you, why would you invite them to your life?

Another angle you should use to see things from is that of the friends you have. If most of them work for the competitor, WATCH OUT! This applies to Facebook or any other network, including the professional ones. No company owner would easily trust someone, whose friends work for aggressive competitors.

Ideas, secrets, plans, projects, etc. must be hidden. If the boss remarks that a new trainee has many friends, who work for other companies, which form a source of competition to his, and he discovers your friendship through social media, the first thing to be done by him is to think of looking for another trainee.

Here, you might be spied on. Your emails are object to a regular check. The calls you make are also likely to be recorded and listened to after you leave the work place. Every email you send might have their email addresses put in BCC section. If you want to stay away from all these troubles, the best thing to do is to be as neutral as possible in your posts and to think thrice, before you allow anything to ruin your training experience.

Having colleagues as friends in social media accounts might also be a source of bothering. It does create issues between employees. This might take place when you post something that hurts one of them. It might lead to scratch your image in their eyes. You also might have a discussion with them online, and you may say some nasty words to them, or you might badmouth another colleague. They can get hurt and their behavior towards you in the work place is likely to change in this case.

When your boss or instructor is your Facebook friend, things can be worse, because;

  • You cannot freely post whatever you wish,
  • If you prevent him from viewing what you post, it is worse,
  • If you remove your boss from your list of friends later on, it is a much worse case,
  • You will comment less on your friends’ posts, and your silence here means more than when you write a comment,
  • If you post something from the work place while your boss is waiting for you to finish a task, he might see it if he is online, and he will believe you prioritize chatting and Facebook… not work.

It is better to have no one of your colleagues and bosses in your social media lists of friends, especially Facebook. Sometimes trainees might suffer from the addiction of using Facebook all the time. The massive use of social media at work is another layer of the mistake we are discussing in this chapter. This mistake has serious results and these are some of them:

  • Being viewed as careless towards work,
  • Losing concentration,
  • Making more mistakes,
  • Wasting time,
  • Wasting energy,
  • Bosses will get more proofs to criticize you,
  • Delays in the delivery of the assigned tasks.

I am not against the total use of social media at work. It is very useful in some cases. For example, I use Facebook to see the news on the competitors’ professional pages. This is something I ask my colleagues to do. The blue website can be used to derive fruitful information, IF it is not used for informal chatting and wasting time. The same thing can be said concerning: YouTube, Tweeter, Linked, Google +, etc.

Let us remember the golden rule; at work, WE WORK. If there should be a source of bother in your training, it should be related to your skills, which can be improved. When it relates to the wrong or massive use of social media, you have to stop making this mistake before you move on to the next chapter.

 

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