Be careful what you put online. Once it’s there, you can never take it back. As long as you are careful, your Internet presence should not affect your employment chances, but if you are not careful, you set yourself up for getting into trouble.
One error that a lot of people make is adding their bosses and/or coworkers on Facebook. In the beginning it may seem harmless. It may even seem like a good idea, as a way of reaching out to the people you work with and showing them a sign of friendship.
However, once they have access to your Facebook profile, anything you do online is visible to them. Take the following example from Failbook.com (Link contains some foul language). The employee whose name is blacked out decided to make fun of their boss on Facebook, and their boss noticed, and they were immediately fired. Examples like this happen all the time.
Problems with Adding a Boss on Facebook
- Foot in Mouth
Be it from anger or drinking or simply because you forgot they were added, you never know when the temptation to say something about your workplace is so strong that you accidentally say something negative about the employer or a coworker. Even if the person you are dissing does not have access to your Facebook, another employee might, and if they are particularly close to the individual they may show them your post. You can be fired for that type of behavior.
- Update, Update, Update
When you make an update on Facebook, the update is time stamped. What happens if you make an update at 2:00 PM, when you are supposed to be working hard on a project with a short deadline? What happens if you missed that deadline and the employer sees that you were on Facebook? What happens if you are tagged in an album and your employer accidentally thinks that you were the one that posted the photo, even though you were not?
- Not Everything is in Your Control
You can control your status updates and the photos you post, but not everything is under your control on Facebook. You cannot control what people post on your wall or what they tag you in. What if you had a private conversation about your boss with a friend, and they post on your wall “Hope you are having fun at work, dealing with your perverted, ugly boss!” They may think they are being supportive, but you added your boss, and now they know what you think about them.
- Sorry, I’m Sick Today
You called in sick on Monday. On Monday night, you were tagged in an album called “Crazy Drunk Sunday” where there is a photo of you downing a fifth of Bacardi 151. You’re in some trouble.
It may seem like a good idea at the time, but adding any of your bosses or even your coworkers on Facebook can have some dire consequences. If you must add them, put them on a severely limited profile and watch what you visibly post.
Take Away Tips
- Don’t add your coworkers or bosses.