How to stop Facebook from getting you into trouble at work

By Zai of Take Charge Ladies

 We are the social network generation. For the most part,  we spend a good portion of our days uploading, downloading, updating, tagging, tweeting and commenting. And though there can be great benefits in doing so, many young people steer away from the social networking advantages and toward social media trouble that can cause work dilemma. Here are some tips to make your Facebook profile work-appropriate.

Rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say or show it to your boss, keep it off Facebook. Whether it’s that inappropriate picture of you or that crude status you wrote a week ago, all the content you put on Facebook will forever be saved in the wonderful world of Internet. If your plans are to be respectable (and I hope they are), go ahead and delete all those pictures of  your drunken college nights next to a toilet. It’s not cool anymore (Was it ever cool to begin with?). Pictures like that do nothing for you.  Be smart about what you put out there, and even so, make sure to re-check your privacy settings every once in a while. Also make sure you have a decent profile picture. I guarantee that part of the hiring process includes the boss looking you up on Facebook. And even if you’re employed, co-workers are nosy and will gossip about anything gossip-worthy.

Don’t let your status or comments be a venue for venting. Whatever bone you’ve got to pick with someone, do it in person or over the phone. And if you’ve had a bad day at work, keep it to yourself. Most importantly, never mention anything negative about your boss or co-workers. News travels quickly, but bad news travels at the speed of light.

Keep your cocktails to yourself. I mean, c’mon, we all need a drink or five at times, but it may not be a great idea to post pictures or comments about your drinking habits. You don’t want a post-it on your desk with the number for Alcoholics Anonymous!

Don’t be a cyberslacker. It’s totally fine to rest your mind for a minute. Go through your wall feed, update your status, comment your friends new photo, and then – log off! As much as you may not notice, people do watch what you’re doing at work.  Even if there’s no one around, remember that most work computers offer intranet, and you never know who has access to the pages you view.

Advice: Keep a ratio on Facebook. Sure, it’s fun to use Facebook for personal purposes. You want to share photos, keep in touch with old friends and start conversations. But it’s wise to use Facebook to your advantage, as well. “Like” places you’re interested in working at and add people who are good to network with.  Make it 40 percent fun, 60 percent business-minded.

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