This post was originally submitted to Blavity.com. You can view it here.
Even the person with their dream job who enjoys going to work every morning has a day when things at work can get a little frustrating. It can be all too tempting to talk about work on social media. It may seem silly to think that 140 characters in a social media post could potentially end your career but it does happen, and more often than you think. I’m going to put you up on game so you don’t put your summer internship at risk by wildin’ out on social.
Know the expectations
When you work for a company, by default the things you do or say publicly can be connected to the company’s brand. Even if your page is private, things you say about your job on social media can always be shared, screen shot, or documented before you even get a chance to change your mind and hit the delete button.
If you decide to talk about work on social media, share things that are positive, promotional, or your own personal achievements (i.e. a raise, an award, the start of a new project etc.)
So, what should you avoid sharing?
1. Any NEGATIVE encounter, exchange or experience with your boss.
Ever heard the term, don’t bite the hand that feeds you? Let’s insert that here.
2. Any NEGATIVE encounter, exchange or experience with your coworkers.
You never know who’s cool with whom or what kinds of relationships have developed behind closed doors. That annoying coworker just might be your boss’s favorite happy hour buddy. When it comes to trust in the workplace, err on the side of caution. Your coworkers are your coworkers, not everyone is meant to be your friend or a part of your personal life.
3. Any NEGATIVE encounter, exchange or experience with the company as a whole.
WHAT YOU SAID: This Walmart is so dirty and disgusting. The one I work at is so clean it would never look like this!
WHAT WAS HEARD: Walmart is so dirty and disgusting! – Signed, A Walmart Employee.
4. Your opinions on decisions your company has made that you don’t agree with. It’s okay to disagree, but you don’t have to be the spokesman for disagreement. Vent offline and choose not to engage in the conversation online.
5. Complaining about things you’re dissatisfied with at work like your pay, specific policies, your schedule, or customers. You have made a choice to work where you work. If it no longer suits you, look for a new job. Until that happens, become one with your social media poker face.
6. Company gossip or drama. Yes, it might be some good tea, but sip it solo, and in silence. The last thing you want is to be the latest subject of company gossip.
7. Your personal opinions that may contradict your company’s mission or purpose. How many times do we have to read about employees who have posted something racist or sexist or otherwise inflammatory about the company’s or organization’s customers? Don’t be that employee. If you disagree with the company that much, again, find a new job. Please!
8. Confidential information that you’ve been entrusted with. Not only can you be sued, but depending on the kind of information in question, it could be illegal to share. Better to treat confidential information like it’s classified with secret clearance only and you're the top flight security of the world.
9. Any lewd or inappropriate photos of you wearing something with your company logo on it or doing something inappropriate at a company gathering or sponsored event. I would like to think this is self-explanatory but people stay surprising me on the internet!
10. Posts of you doing something other than what you took the day off for. If you took a sick day, now is not the time to post about your skydiving adventure. Maybe wait until the weekend. If you’re injured on the job, definitely don’t post about doing overly physical things. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen.