Social media has become an integral part of our lives in the last decade. We connect to our friends, family, and even acquaintances through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each and every second, a new blog post or photograph is uploaded to the Internet for all the world to see; including people’s bosses and colleagues. Now, depending on who you ask, a person might say that social media has more benefits than drawbacks and vice versa. We will take a close look at how social media can affect your professional life and the environment of your workplace. Here are some useful tips to keep your professional social media game on point.
Connect with people from your workplace
One of the biggest factors that can help you move up the corporate ladder is how many people you know and how important these people are. With websites like Linkedin that cater specifically to professionals and deal with work-related matters, it has never been easier to stay connected with people in your work life. Connections are an important part of a person’s professional life so be sure to add any former or current colleagues on your social media account.
What you should do: Make some friends in the workplace and continue to keep the friendly and professional relationship going on social media. If you are heading to a new company or resigning from your job, make it an objective to connect on social media with people you have worked with and worked for. These people might somehow be able to help you progress in the future; maybe your former boss is looking for someone to fill up a more important position or maybe a former co-worker has some news about job openings you are interested in. It never hurts to stay connected with people who can help you in the future.
Be careful what you post on your social media account
Never has it been easier to let people know what is going on in your life than it has today. You can see where a person is, what they are doing, who they are with, and what they look like just by turning on your smartphone and flicking through a couple of pages on the Facebook app or on Twitter. While it’s great that you let people know what is going on in your life through social media, this can also backfire quite horribly. Drunken nights with a couple of your friends and extremely embarrassing and unflattering photographs often make their way into the Internet. While you could definitely argue that all that is separate from your professional life, your boss might think otherwise depending on the severity of your social media gaffe.
What you should do: Always be careful when you post something on social media. You do not want to let your boss and everyone else in the office know how you are when you are drunk or acting immaturely. Your colleagues and employer might even begin to question your professionalism every time they see an incredibly unprofessional Facebook post or Instagram picture. Some people have even been fired for things they post on social media. Always think twice and consider the consequences before you decide to share something on the Internet. And if you have already posted things like this on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, please consider deleting them as soon as possible before someone at work finds out.
Use social media to sell yourself
If social media can harm your professional life, it can also help you improve it. Social media is often thought of as something you can use to advance your personal life and not your professional life; people usually associate dates, friendship, and personal interests with social media and not with work or their career. This is not always the case. Some people know how to use social media to sell themselves to potential employers and help improve their image. They know the right things to put in their profile descriptions and how the information they upload can help them get jobs. You can also do this if you know the right things to say when you write a description about yourself for your social media account.
What you should do: Do some research about some potential employers you can work for and know what kind of employee they need or are looking for. List down what you have found and try to see if any of the qualities they are looking for can be found in you. Think about what accomplishments you have and relate them to the job you want to get. Remember that some employers and human resources departments look through the social media accounts of possible employees; this is not really a standard practice, but people do it anyway. Your social media profile says a lot about your personality. Depending on how you fix up your profile, you can make it look like you are the most confident, reliable, and responsible candidate for the job.
Keep ideas and conversations that should be kept private to yourself
You know how there’s always this one couple on your friend list that fights on Facebook posts and argues on your news feed? Do not be one-half of the couple. Personal matters that are private should always remain private. You do not want your boss seeing how your fights turn out as much as you do not want your parents to see that you are in an immature argument. Most importantly, you do not want your boss to find out that his employees are talking about him or her behind his or her back; you will be surprised how many times this has happened before. The things you say to other people or your deeply personal beliefs (very few companies want to hire racists and sexists that enjoy blabbering on social media) should always be kept private.
What you should do: You do not need to put everything about yourself on social media. Even though I said earlier that you can sell yourself with your Facebook profile, you can easily turn off some employers who might be interested. Keep highly controversial ideas in private messages and change your privacy settings so that people from work do not see what you upload. Always review the terms and policies on privacy when you first create your social media account. There are settings you can change that adjust who can see what you post on the social media.
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