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.
Eboni K. Williams and Cheslie Kryst have a lot in common, as Iman Oubou Founder & CEO of SWAAY as well as host of the Women Who Swaay podcast puts it, "They're both badass attorneys, they're both from North Carolina and they've both competed in the Miss North Carolina USA pageants." And they also both took over our podcast on the most recent episode, straight from the headquarters of the Miss Universe Organization!
Cheslie is a successful licensed attorney who also happens to be the reigning Miss USA 2019, with plans to represent our country in the upcoming Miss Universe competition. Not only is she at the height of her pageant power, but she is using the notoriety to create positive change for all of the women in her life, much like her role model Eboni K. Williams. Williams is a journalist, author, attorney and speaker; from her long history as a pageant queen she has risen through the ranks of male dominated industries from law-firms to Fox News. All throughout her journey she has persevered with intelligence, tenacity and poise. Lucky enough for us, she has kindly put her reporting skills to use and got candid with Ms. Kryst about supporting their fellow women, the current state of race in America and their history together as pageant compatriots. All of these topics are incredibly close to their hearts as powerful black women using their influence to create a better future for all women in America.
Oh and, as previously stated, both are complete and utter badasses.
During their podcast takeover they talked about it all, from pageants to politics. It's clear that both of these women are motivated by an altruistic spirit and are strong supporters of #womensupportingwomen. Eboni even read a passage from her book, Pretty Powerful: Appearance, Substance, and Success, in which she outlines how her own career trajectory was so positively affected by the incredible women who mentored her in different stages of her life. She completely shuts down the idea of the "woman on woman teardown," calling it a "pitiful dynamic" tied to the "long and very hurtful history of women." This idea that in order to compete for a spot in the old boy's club, women must first fight off their own gender is not only reductive but it also supports an outdated social structure that was built to greatly favor male success. Throughout history women have been encouraged to look at one another as competition, one more obstacle to pass by. However, all that has managed to do is to pit us against each other, fighting for the few meager seats at the table allowed for women while we ignore the real problem. The problem isn't about the lack of seats allotted for women; the problem is that men are still the ones making the seating arrangements, and it's time for that to change, something that both Cheslie and Eboni understand well.
Race is another topic that is incredibly important to both of these women, and they have quite the in-depth discussion on it during this podcast. Cheslie, who is biracial and self-identifies as black, laid out her point of view on race. She voiced her frustrations for never feeling like she had her own box to tick, being stuck to decide between "black, white, or other" in standardized situations like the SATs. Existing as someone stuck between two cultures has been incredibly challenging, and though she found some solace in the black community, she felt less welcomed by her white peers. Self-identifying as black is something that has allowed her more agency in regards to her own identity, and though she still faces difficulties she realizes how important it is to be a confident black woman in the esteemed position she is currently in. Both Cheslie and Eboni seem to bond over the idea that no matter the successes, they both revel in the victories of their fellow women of color. Each of them is motivated to see more women of color in powerful, visible positions to inspire future generations. It's not about their own success; it's about respect and renown for any and all women of color.
I may have just provided the highlight reel, but the full conversation shared between Cheslie and Eboni on the Women Who Swaay podcast is a must listen. These two women managed to make me laugh while restoring hope for a better America all within a half hour of listening time! Seriously, go get those headphones, right now. You will not regret it.