It’s inevitable by now that most of us have a social media presence, whether limited to Facebook, Twitter, or expanding into Instagram, even Tik Tok. And, of course, a LinkedIn account. Thus it can be easy to forget that many of these accounts – unless properly set – are viewable by employers, current or prospective. The team at Contemporaries, Inc. have compiled some “dos and don’ts” to help you maintain your digital presence (if that’s your preference) while always maintaining strong, professional boundaries vital for a successful working relationship. There’s enough judgement out there — let’s try to stave off preemptive judgement. After all, you’re more than just how you appear in your curated online world. They are:
- Privacy. We can’t emphasize this enough. Make sure your settings are set to private. This can be hard (especially on FB) but it’s worth it. Also, creating an alias account (or, a “Finsta”) can be a good idea. That way you have a professional account and one that is more palatable for your friend/social group.
- Stay away from politics. While connected to “privacy”, as a rule, an employer would rather you stay apolitical. Of course water cooler conversations will come up, but it’s best to remain neutral in this arena. You know what they say —- steer away from religion or politics at a dinner party!
- This applies to religion, too.
- Don’t friend your new colleagues right away. If someone requests you, it is your choice, but remember that it is okay to want to keep your professional and personal life separate, and, even by accident, this can adversely affect your job if, say, innocuously, your boss finds out you had a crazy “Thursday” night from a colleague. That Friday AM won’t be fun.
- Keep your LinkedIn account. While there are pitfalls to most “social medias”, this one is a bit different and you can maintain professional boundaries while also advancing your career and connecting with your peers and fellow employees.
- Do not post at work. Just don’t do it.
- Maintain a respectful tone on your pages.
- Certain pictures are normally viewable by the public, no matter your privacy settings. Be aware of this and err on the side of professional at all times.
- And this one may be obvious, but it’s best not to mention anything about your job or fellow employees. Especially your boss! If you do, make sure to keep it positive.
We know it’s a shifting world out there and it’s easy to forget that our digital aliases/selves are easily accessible and can have sway on your life IRL (in real life). So, before you begin a job, and even before that interview, tighten your privacy settings. At Contemporaries, Inc. we also browse, so, even before you apply for a job, it’s best to have these secure as well. We are not here to judge, only to help social media work for you. While there are many disadvantages, we are aware there are many advantages, too. Lastly, sometimes a breather can be healthy. You won’t know until you take an e-vacation and sign off. Stay social media responsible, friends.