Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.
Humpty Dumpty couldn’t be put back together again. In the same way, what you post on social media can do irreparable harm to your current or future career. If you share a questionable opinion, embarrassing pictures, offensive comments, or a negative status update, it will stick around forever—even when you think it’s disappeared.
Keep in mind that just because it’s easy to post something doesn’t mean it’s easy to remove it. You should be aware that websites are cached regularly, meaning that even if an offensive picture or comment is removed, it can still reside somewhere on the web, a server, or someone’s computer. And employers, hiring managers, and HR professionals will often find these details, which can affect your career.
Consider these two stories and the impact of your own social media presence
Employers are concerned about productive use of company time. Keep in mind that your online updates are typically time stamped. A candidate was being considered for a great opportunity.
The prospective employer expressed concern about the excessive amount of time the individual spent updating their personal social media accounts during work hours with their current employer. Are you updating your status during work hours when you shouldn’t be?
What are the company’s policies?
Another employee began complaining about work with comments such as “I hate my job”. The comments targeting the employer became progressively worse. The individual clearly identified on their social media site where they worked. The comments led to disciplinary action.
Your comments may become inextricably connected to the business, which means the reputation of the business is at stake. Mocking or complaining about customers can have equally poor consequences. To top it off, the employee must have forgotten they had listed their manager as a “friend!” Will your next prospective employer decide that you’re not worth hiring since you’ve badmouthed your employers in the past?
There is a balance between the employer’s interests and employees’ right to privacy. When you share content online, consider it public. Always assume that your posts will be seen, regardless of how strict you believe your privacy settings may be.
Think twice and click once to protect your career. A good rule of thumb is to never post anything online that you wouldn’t want a prospective or current employer to see. Your reputation and your career could be at stake!
About Detry Carragher
As a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Detry Carragher has led Carvo Group since 2004. The team is consulted regularly by employers, industry groups, and employees from across Atlantic Canada on a range of employment-related topics. Detry’s work extends to several of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Fortune 500 technology companies, and she has contributed her insights on CBC, CTV, and the national HR Reporter publication. Detry was recently awarded the prestigious HR Award of Excellence, representing Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She has offered to share her HR insights with Employment Journey readers.
If you have a specific question you would like featured in the HR Insights column, or you are interested in expanding your skills in human resources,
email [email protected]. Visit www.carvogroup.com.
April 2017 Issue
Submitted by Detry Carragher, CPHR (CARVO Group)