Online Reputation on a Professional Career
You might believe that your digital life and oyrur professional life are separate, but you would be wrong. In this digital age, your identity is linked to your online reputation. How many stories have you read about teachers who were fired or suspended over pictures or posts on their social media pages? You should be aware of the way your professional career and your online reputation are linked.
You don’t necessarily have to renounce a fulfilling life on social media just because your boss pays attention to what you post. We want to help you determine what’s appropriate to post and what isn’t and how you can go about helping your professional career by paying close attention to certain rules and following them in your daily life.
Stop and Think before Posting
It’s quite likely that some or even all of your co-workers are Facebook friends with you or friends on some other social media site you regularly use. You have to make the distinction between Facebook friend and real-life friend.
Think about what you are going to post before you post it. Consider if you would share it with all the people in your office, because they will likely all see it if you post it to social media. You also have to think about how your posts will affect your career. If you are posting Halloween pictures of your baby dressed in a cute outfit, then there shouldn’t be a problem with that. If you are posting a picture of you in a sexy schoolteacher outfit from Halloween, though, you may want to reconsider.
You should set up barriers with what you post so that only certain people see certain posts. Many social networks give you options to filter what you post so that only close friends or just your friends can see it. You can use those same filters to set up a group where only work friends can see your post. You can select the kind of content that you share with them. If you aren’t sure if a picture is appropriate to share, then you are better off not posting it.
Keep Job Complaints to Yourself
You may not like your job very much, but that doesn’t mean you need to tell everyone how you feel, especially your boss or friends at work. You have to take care as to what you are posting online, and that applies to underhanded compliments or snide comments that make you sound angry at your employer. You have to take into account how your career could be affected by what you post.
You won’t benefit from venting online about work issues. You can talk to those people who are causing the issues or tell a close friend about your problems just to let off some steam. Human Resources may be able to help you out as well for the more serious problems. If you are talking out of turn, though, and letting your angry opinions or frustrations be voiced online, you won’t look like much of a team player.
Many websites have actually been created just for the sole purpose of allowing employees to vent in the safety of anonymity. Even when you do feel the need to let off some steam, these sites are not your best option. You may feel like you are speaking anonymously, but you could be letting details slip that could positively identify you or that could put your job in jeopardy. Your work anger needs to be vented in private or with friends that aren’t from your work that you trust not to spread the word. You never want to vent your anger in a way that can leak that information back to your employers and never online.
You Are Your Company’s Representative
Your name is likely already linked to your employer somewhere online. That link may appear on the company website or on your social media profile. This link means that anything you do can be connected back to your company.
When you post information that goes against your company’s mission or branding, then you can hurt them and make them look bad. You have to be cautious about trying to protect your company against attacks online as well.
It’s admirable to be someone who stands up for your company, but you probably don’t have any training in crisis communications or in PR methods. You have to carefully consider responding to any criticism of your company online. You may anger the online poster or misrepresent your customer.
What works better is letting your employers know about the problems you are seeing online and letting them handle it in a professional manner. It can really pay off sometimes to send the problem onto people who are more capable of handling it the right way.
Help Out Where You Can
You can use your personal blog or social media page to promote your company. You can be what is known as a brand ambassador for them, sharing positive information about them on your Facebook or Twitter. You can add in among your updates on your family and hobbies a little something about your company. You shouldn’t directly advertise for the company, but if you enjoy working for them you can let people know. You can put your social media tendencies to use for a good cause.
You can also join your company’s fan page or like their pages, and you can follow their Twitter account, if they have one. You don’t have to do a lot to make an impact and help out your company in a meaningful way. Spreading the good word about your company’s brand can show that you are a team player. You should understand how your online reputation impacts your career and know that the actions you do on one can have an impact on the other.