There’s no denying that Social Media is a dominant force in many people's lives now. It’s a 21st century norm. But, with this new standard comes a gray area wherein people’s personal and public personas can often crossover. And, it just so happens that nearly all who participate in or on social media are - or want to be - an employee somewhere. This is where things can get tricky for you and your Instagram feed.
With more and more employers scrutinizing potential employees' Facebook pages and Tweets prior to hiring them, content is key. Your pics, posts and all that lie between are being viewed under a microscope. So, to avoid being fired, or having a non-hire worthy petri dish for companies to see, follow these 11 easy social media do's & don'ts for career success.
Do – Have A Social Media Profile
You have your own brand and it began the day you were born. Social media simply allows you to communicate that brand with so many more people. Be mindful of what your brand represents and how you are communicating it because social posts never go away.
Do – Have A Professional Page Such As LinkedIn If You Are Not Willing To Accept Colleagues As Social Friends
Something important to note here is that you will be connected to someone that knows someone at work, so people will know that you have a personal page. Some employees choose to have a professional page in addition to their personal page but also be aware that some people at work may be able to view your page through connected friends.
Do – Use Your Social Media Pages To Promote Your Peers And Your Company And Their Events
There is tremendous value in an employee that is spreading the word on the company’s success and encouraging others. This can be a part of your unique value proposition.
Do - Be Aware Of The Platform You Are On
Utilize LinkedIn for business exclusively. This means you need to adhere to using a business profile and professional picture. Don’t post pics of you at a party from Friday night unless there is a good tie back to how this is driving business for you.
Do - Edit Your Social Media Posts
Don’t allow for typos and misspelled words to flood your feed. Be aware that excessive typos can send a message that you are uneducated or careless.
Don’t - Use Social Media To Attack Others
Even if you don’t think anyone will see it, I promise you they will. I’ve had employees post about not liking other employees and this always ends badly. Keep your squabbles to face-to-face discussions with your direct manager and anyone you are having issues with, not with a global social platform.
Don’t - Post About Your Relationships Unless You Want To Invite Your Work Into Your Personal Life
This is a personal choice and needs to be thought out carefully. Don’t post pictures of yourself partying. Do I really need to explain this one?
Don’t - Post Pictures That You Don’t Want Seen By Your Boss Or Their Spouse
When I am recruiting people I search for them on all social handles and I search for connections we have in common. It is not impossible to get a glimpse of someone’s feed even if you are not connected. Be aware of the image you are projecting.
Don’t - Think That Your Current Employer And Potential Employers Aren’t Auditing Your Posts Because They Are
This is shaping how others view you at work, so be sure to use it to your advantage. And, yes, “Big Brother” is watching as I’ve had screen shots of employees posts sent to me by other employees that are connected to someone that I am not. Remember that social posts happen and can be shared via a screen shot to someone you didn’t want to see it.
Don’t - Make Disparaging Comments About Your Employer
This is grounds for termination in many companies.
Don’t - Post In The Middle Of The Day When You Are Supposed To Be Working
You very well may be called in by your supervisor inquiring what you have been doing that day instead of your work.
In closing, social media can be a phenomenal asset when used wisely. So, use it to HELP you, not HURT you at work - or when looking for work.
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.