Estimated reading time: 7 mins
We have all seen those office-moaning status updates on social media – those Facebook rants about people having to work long hours and tweets around an intense argument with co-workers. Even worse, some people go all-out and post Snapchat stories of their work place and the working conditions that they do not like. While this is becoming a common habit these days, posting about your workplace on social media profiles is perhaps one of the most unprofessional things you could do.
It is possible for your professional and personal life to overlap, especially if you work online. However, it is always best to set some hard lines that you never cross. These days, employers are much savvier about how they recruit talent and they do look you up on social media to perform a personal audit. While you should definitely use social media to post something positive about your workplace, the same cannot be said about when you are unhappy with your employer. Below are some of the reasons why sharing bad things about your workplace on social media can be a very bad idea.
You will Give Yourself a Bad Name
Posting about work drama will not impress your current and future employers. Ranting about your issues at office on social media will show that you are not a team player, jeopardising any future career opportunities. When others only recognise you by the work drama that you post on social media, you will come across as attention seeking, overly needy and immature. You cannot seem to be handling your problems maturely if you treat every problem as an opportunity to rant or you have to take a poll on Facebook to know what to do.
Therefore, whenever you are planning to take a new job, you will want to be sure that your social media properties be clean of any negative work details. Having too much ranting on social media will strip you of professionalism.
You Will Damage Your Employer’s Reputation
No company is perfect and the same applies to its workers. When you vent about your co-worker or boss online, you drag your company down with you.
There is no way for you to confirm how many customers, potential customers, colleagues and maybe even shareholders and board members will see your social media posts. Sharing your work drama not only sets you up in a negative light as an ineffective and whiny individual, it also places your company in a bad light.
I also encourage you to read my other blog post on Reputation & The Small Places It Affects You.
What’s Done, Cannot Be Undone
The thing with social media is that once you post emotions and ideas, you simply cannot take them back. It is easy to get caught up in the moment, angry about unfair circumstances or flustered by an argument. However, once you turn to the internet to vent out your disapproval, they are permanent. Even if you think that you made a mistake and delete a post, chances are that someone has already taken screenshots and even forwarded to others.
It is important to raise such issues using official channels like the Human Resources or in private among a few close friends. Social media is open for public and permanent. You just do not have any idea who might be seeing your post, even if you have your sharing settings locked down.
Creating Issues for Other Workers
It is always a good idea to keep details private as discussing salary, promotions and the like can seriously spur jealousy among colleagues. It is possible that if you share the news of you getting a promotion on social media, you will be breaching your company’s policy without realising it. Likewise, if you start Snapchatting about an interview opportunity, you might just be sharing your excitement but it might come off as unprofessional in the eyes of your potential employer as you have not gotten the job yet.
Now I am not saying that you cannot announce a role change or new position on LinkedIn in a modest manner. However, there is a fine line between announcing and oversharing.
Things You Should Avoid on Facebook
I know that there will be moments when you just have to vent out on Facebook. Below is a quick run-down of all things that you need to avoid doing on social media before you start talking about your crappy job:
- Never Have Your Facebook Posts Set To ‘Public’. This is important because more people will be able to see all the stuff you are posting, including your bosses and that co-worker who is jealous of you. In addition, even though you can still be fired from posting on social media, keeping your profile private still gives you lower odds. It also makes it difficult for your professional contacts to figure out that you are not doing well professionally.
- Avoid Any Shenanigans With The Workplace And During Work Hours. You should refrain from posting photos that might put you in trouble. While shenanigans are highly recommended to bond with your peers, it just is better to avoid talking about it on Facebook because it can easily get you FIRED. Play it safe and have a good time with your team but just do not brag about it on social media.
- Stay Clear From Anything That Might Sound Negative. Do not say anything about your boss, colleagues, or workplace on social media either, unless you are totally positive that there is no chance for this to be considered offensive, negative or sarcastic. Most of us do not like being talked about negatively on social media. So doing this might get you fired for bullying or harassment. It will make no difference if your profile is set to private and you kept the settings of your rant to private. In fact, in recent times, it has been seen that even courts have upheld decisions to fire staff due to ‘bullying’ posts.
- Do Not Try To Be Funny. When it comes to your colleagues, work or your customers, you should avoid being funny. Just think about it – how would you feel if your employee made fun of a customer of yours on social media? We all know how painful customers can be and it is highly possible for you to also hate the people you work with. However, if you will try to look for opportunities to be disrespectful to your team or your customers then it is better that you simply say goodbye to your job.
- Do Not Look Like A Creepy Paedophile. This applies especially to those who work with kids or people junior to them. You should never post questionable comments on your student or junior’s social media profile. You should also avoid saying mean things to your students, which can look like harassment.
- Never be Prejudiced in Any Way. A big NO is you sending out racist or homophobic vibes in your moaning on social media. While you might not have meant to sound prejudiced, but when talking about races and people of different sexual orientation, you will need to be extra careful not to sound rude. If you do something of this kind, you should be prepared for some serious backlash.
- Avoid Liking Facebook Pages that Conflict with Your Company Values. Another place to watch out are those pages on Facebook and other communities that might be in conflict with your beliefs or values. You might see yourself in hot waters if you support politically questionable pages or take on groups to mourn about your workplace.
- Be Careful Of Your Check-Ins during Work Time (Especially If You Have Called In Sick). It probably is the smartest idea not to check into the movies if you are supposed to be in the office. Even though social media can push you to take advantage of it and broadcast your each and every move, you should still stay away from it if you have called in sick. If your boss gets to see this, s/he will not be happy one bit and that little check-in might just cost you your job.
- Stay Away from Facebook. If you do not work in a digital media agency, you should avoid spending all of your time on Facebook or any other social media platform while at work. Some companies have a very strict policy of using Facebook during working hours and you will need to adhere to these policies to stay clear from any trouble. If your screen is always showing Facebook, your company future will look bleak.
Therefore, this is it, my golden words on why you should never moan on social media and all things that you should avoid posting on Facebook. As long as you are playing it safe and staying away from always whining on social media, you will be fine. Let me know what you think. Share your stories in the comments section below. Be sure to also check my other blog post on how to quit your job without burning bridges.