We are all pioneering the age of social media and its effects on everything that happens in our lives. While there is certainly a lot of good that comes from these sites, there is also a lot of damage that can be afflicted as well. Namely – sabotaging our careers and getting fired over Facebook.
Getting fired and ruining your finances over something as dumb as Facebook posts may seem like something that could never happen to you, but it could! Here’s a story of something that just happened recently…
You Really Can Be Fired Over Facebook:
Recently the company I work for held their annual meeting to decide raises for all the employees. As one of the department heads, I participate in this meeting and contribute my opinions as to what my fellow colleagues should receive for a raise. Like a lot of other companies, the meeting both highlights the best of the best as well as the worst of the worst employees.
In this one particular meeting, an administrative assistant who was usually pretty disgruntled was the topic. She was one of those people who was always talking about how dumb everyone else is, complaining about how everyone else makes her job harder, and usually full of excuses for everything. Some people defended her saying she wasn’t THAT bad while others argued the contrary.
What was the final straw? One of the attendees brought up her Facebook account which was basically full of rants about how much she hated her job. This really didn’t sit well with our superiors, and the choice was made. She was let go two weeks later.
This Happens More Than You Think:
That’s probably not the first time you’ve heard a story like that. There have been numerous occasions throughout the years where people have ranted about their jobs online and suddenly found themselves out of work the next day.
One of the more troublesome situations is when you post something that you think is innocent but other people don’t agree. I recall hearing one story on the radio of a teacher who went on a vacation and posted some pictures later on Facebook. In one of them was a picture of her enjoying an alcoholic drink at dinner. As you can guess, that didn’t sit well with a few conservative parents, and they reported her to the board. Ultimately she was fired.
Watch What You Say and Post Online:
Sites like Twitter and Facebook have made it possible for us to keep in contact with friends and family that we would never communicate with on a regular basis. And for that we are thankful!
But with everything good there is always a bad side. And that bad side is that social media sites make it all too easy for anyone and everyone to look into our everyday lives and see what is really going on or what we’re really thinking. And unfortunately for those people with diarrhea of the mouth, they’re just getting themselves into hot water!
If you put it out there for people to read and see, then expect to be judged! I’m not saying if it’s right or wrong – it’s just a fact! Most jobs in America are “at-will employment” meaning that you can be terminated at any time as long as it isn’t for a reason that is protected by law such as sex, race, age, etc.
So what can we do to protect ourselves from getting fired over Facebook or other things we do online? Simple! Use some common sense!
1) Don’t talk about your job on Facebook. In fact, try to avoid anything specific as much as possible. If you do have to say something, make sure its positive. I’m sure that meeting I talked about above would have ended a lot differently if it was full of things about how much she loved her job.
2) Don’t write nasty things when you’re angry that you’re going to regret later. Everything you type lives on forever in cyber-space. When you’re mad, sit on a for a day. Call your best friend. Call your Mom. But don’t broadcast your disgust to the rest of the world – you never know who will read it!
3) Watch who you “friend” on these sites. Like in my other story about the teacher, sometimes things you think are innocent get interpreted the wrong way with devastating results. In general, you should set your accounts to private and only friend people you actually know and trust. As a general rule, I don’t friend colleagues or clients on my personal Facebook account. Why take a chance or invite any unnecessary drama into my work life? While that may or may not work for some people, I like to keep the two things separate.
Readers – Do you know anyone who has ever gotten in trouble or even been fired over Facebook rants? What do you do to monitor yourself and keep things in check so that the same thing doesn’t happen to you?
Photo Credit: MMD