Don't Let Social Media Ruin Your Career

Up in Smoke: Don’t Let Twitter Ruin Your Career

Chris Brown (Image: File)

We all know the ways that social media can help you professionally. You can demonstrate your expertise on a topic using Twitter, network your way to a new job using LinkedIn and can keep old connections fresh on Facebook.

However, there’s a dark side to social media. Just ask Chris Brown.

During his European tour, the singer posted several shots of him and friends smoking excessive amounts of marijuana on his Instagram account. After taking some heat from fans, Brown decided to take the high road (no shade) and apologized to Team Breezy. This isn’t the first time Brown has landed himself in hot water for his online antics: He recently deleted and reactivated his Twitter account after a fiery feud with comedian Jenny Johnson.

Whether you agree with Brown’s antics or not, it’s clear that social media can negatively impact your career if used incorrectly. Check out these tips to avoid making social media missteps that may hinder your professional advancement:

Tweeting about bad work behavior: While it may be tempting to release some steam  about your job, boss or coworkers on Twitter, just don’t. Even with protected or private updates, you may never know who’s secretly tweet-watching. Find another avenue to vent.

Displaying unprofessional photos: If you are currently seeking a job, or would like to keep the one you have now, it’s best to avoid posting photos from the wild party you went to last night. Regardless of your work performance, you don’t want unprofessional photos to negatively impact your image in the eyes of your employer or potential employer.

Allowing friends to post unprofessional comments: Managers and recruiters often judge crude or offensive comments left on profiles, even if they’re left by someone else. It’s important to also be wary of friends tagging you in pictures. In case your profile slips through the cracks and is viewable by some hiring managers, make sure all comments listed are PG-13.

Don’t befriend your boss … on Facebook. Leave that for professional networking sites like LinkedIn. It’s important to remember who can see your status updates and social media activity when you should be working instead. Even if your Facebook account is “clean,” do you really want your boss to know what you did on your sick day?

What are some of the social media precautions you take for the sake of your job? #SoundOff and follow me on Twitter @JayNHarrison.