Don’t Let Facebook Ruin Your Career

Don’t Let Facebook Ruin Your Career

Facebook – the land where my vacation photos, party photos and silly ramblings are available for all my friends to feast their eyes upon.

While it’s fun to comment on the photos from a drunken night of revelry, unless your profile is private, your employer or future employer can see them too.  If you’re thinking you’ll just eventually delete your account, it may be more difficult than you think.

With over 400 million users, Facebook can be a great way to network but it can also be a way to lose your job.  According to Forbes Magazine, many companies (IBM, Walmart, etc.) have formal social-networking policies. Of U.S. companies with at least 1,000 employees, 10% have disciplined their ranks for running afoul of the rules during the last 12 months, according to Proofpoint, an e-mail security and data-loss-prevention firm in Sunnyvale, Calif. Eight percent of those firms fired at least one employee for  violations related to their social networking account.

Exercising common sense is the over-riding theme in the horror stories of people being fired because of their social networking account – particularly when it comes to the photos you post.  If you are hoping to get a job as a teacher, social worker, or many other jobs which specify that you must be of “high moral character,” your Facebook photos can be the difference between getting the job or not.

Also, if you think making your profile “private” is a way to keep your employer from finding out just how much you can’t stand your job, think again.  A police officer in Atlanta was fired after posting his frustration with work, when he would be working as a plain-clothes officer, and other sensitive information.

Your online social network is not your business – it’s the world’s.  Remember this when you post information and be aware of your company’s policy regarding social networking.  Doing this and sprinkling in a bit of common sense will make it so you’re not another Facebook casualty.

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