Guest Post by Jordan Knox from NuRelm |
Many of you probably already heard of the girl, Jenny, who quit her job in a rather public way — through photos and a dry erase board. Despite the laughter of the situation and afterward finding out it was an elaborate hoax, average individuals should take warning of what they do online.
Type in the query “Facebook firing” in Google. Go ahead I’ll wait. Surprised at the amount of people terminated because of their actions on a social networking site? I sure as Hell was. Firings of individuals posting on Twitter or Facebook have happened multiple times. Lots of average people being canned for what they thought was personal ranting.
People feel comfortable posting any type of content, believing that their message is only viewable to close friends and family. Sadly, those posts are the equivalent of a sandwich board and megaphone on a street corner. As a business it’s important to also monitor what your employees are doing online. An unhappy customer expressing his/her concerns is bad enough, but no matter how you look at it, negative comments from an employee just look horrible.
The line between what is private and what is public online is getting increasingly blurry. Therefore I’m going to throw this out Real Talk style. Below I’m going to outline what you, as an individual and as a business, should do to protect yourself in the digital jungle.
For the Individual:
So you’ve had a tough day at Crappy Job, Inc and decide to go home and release a little steam on the ole Facebook. Sadly there might be consequences depending on the context and perceived intent of any posting you do. Don’t think your job is worth monitoring? Everyone from business professionals to waitresses have been fired. So what steps can you take to maintain your opinion and job?
Set up Privacy Settings:
This might work out the same as trying to create a submarine with mesh wiring; still it’s a step that should be completed. Facebook is generally known for its lax behavior when it comes to maintaining security standards. Knowing that setting up privacy settings is the equivalent to locking a door in a glass house, they should still be done because it will keep the computer illiterate and lazy away from your information. Still, once you realize how public a forum like Facebook is you will, hopefully, be more reserved in your posting.
Do not show employer information
Creating some distance between you and your employers might be a path you deem appropriate. If your job does not require you to have a web presence, then not posting your information provides a nice disconnect between your personal and professional life. However, employers have still fired employees over content they wrote about on social networking sites without actually naming their employer. Social Networking is a lot like the Wild West at this point. The laws are gray and a lot of the land is unregulated. Thus I will state, once again, that social networking sites are pretty transparent and even if you do not state specifics about an employer you might still be soliciting a pink slip. This step is pointless if you have set up and maintain a Linkedin account. See where I’m going with this?
I realize that I am starting to get a little repetitive. Good. The more aware you are that most employers are, or will be, monitoring what you do and say on these sites will allow you to effectively judge how you want to be viewed. The best approach is to structure your online persona in a professional manner while making sure to never divulge any information about your job. The actions you take on these sites will reflect your current standing at your job and in the future with other potential employers.
Set up a Reputation Monitoring Dashboard:
Jordan is the new kid on the block at Nurelm, a boutique Web Design and Development firm that develops easy-to-use Web-based tools for non-technical business professionals, not to be confused with Jordan Knight, original band member for NKOTB. He, apparently, enjoys early 90’s boy bands and obscure awkward humor. Jordan is also a fan of social media and Search Engine Optimization. He continually tries to give us articles about 80’s cartoons and, oddly enough, unicorn fan art. Since he’s our new social media strategist we tend to just keep the articles dealing with Social Media, SEO, SEM, Web Design, and any other fun things that actually pertain to the Internet. He’ll get it eventually, we’re sure of it. Hop on over to The Website Owner’s Manual to see more of his awesomesauce articles or on his Twitter @Jknox86."