Social media, how we love thee! You are the last thing we look at before bed and the first thing we think about when we wake up. We can’t wait to check on you during our lunch breaks and we find ourselves worrying about you when we are forced to be apart. We do love you, but like any relationship, sometimes things are complicated. It’s hard to take a step back and evaluate whether or not social media is good for you, but you need to. Especially in regards to your career.
You’ve heard it plenty of times before, stay off social media if you are searching for a job. You’ve seen the news stories of employees being fired for inappropriate posts. But you’ve also seen careers skyrocket because of popularity on social networks like Twitter, Instagram, or Vine. Despite what some news outlets may report, social media and your career is not a black and white issue. Before you make your next social post, consider the following aspects of your career and social media usage.
First things first, you need to think about what type of industry you work in. Do you work in a conservative profession like government work or teaching? If so, social media will do nothing to help your career. It doesn’t have to hurt you if you keep everything you post appropriate, but it really won’t benefit your career in any way. However, social media can transform your career if you are in a creative industry like fashion, graphic design, photography or writing. As a creative, you should be promoting your work on social media. Bringing attention to your personal brand on social media can benefit your career tenfold. The more followers you have the more your personal brand is worth.
Verdict: Unless you are in a creative industry where you can use social media to showcase your work, there is no benefit for your career by being on social media and you run the risk of hurting your career.
What You Post
No matter what your job, you need to be really careful about what you post online. Especially if your company is on the conservative side. Make sure you have very secure privacy settings and keep every post family-friendly. This isn’t to say you can’t post the occasional photo of a beautiful artisanal cocktail, but no photos of you taking shots! If you are in the creative industry, you have a little more leeway with the types of photos you share, but still need to tread cautiously. If your goal is to grow your career by using social media, then you also have to make sure you are posting high-quality photos, typo-free text and aren’t engaging in any social media sins like overusing hashtags.
Verdict: In any industry, it’s important to keep everything you post appropriate.
Your Job Title
Where do you stand in your company? Are you an entry-level employee who the CEO wouldn’t recognize on the street or are you on your way to an executive title? When you accept a job, you become a representative of the company and their brand. The stakes get even higher as you rise in importance in the company or if you have a client or public facing role. Just think how much more embarrassing it is for a company to find out their Director of Marketing tweeted something inappropriate versus the Director of Marketing Assistant. No matter what company you work for or what your role is, it’s best not to post anything that could offend anyone or potentially embarrass your employer on social media.
The stakes are lower if your career hasn’t taken off yet or if you're not in a public facing role, but it's never a good idea to post anything potentially offensive on social media.
For a select few, social media can benefit their career (enter all the small business owners, musicians, photographers, and makeup artists). But it is important to remember that any social media mistake can damage your career no matter what your job is. Remember to always be kind, post appropriate content and only share high-quality photos and text!
How has social media impacted your career? Share your experiences with us in the comments! To stay up to date on all of our posts, make sure to follow us on Bloglovin’!