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Top 10 Social Media Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Career

The popularity of social media continues to grow by the day as the entire world becomes more tech savvy. Many people make the mistake of thinking that social media is just a place for entertainment and jokes. The fact, however, is that people show their real selves in relaxed and free environments such as social media platforms. If you want to understand the true nature of an individual’s moral, intellectual, emotional, and psychological character, take a look through their social media life.

If you are an employee, one of the things you should understand is that companies frequently monitor the activities of their employees online. Embassies of major western countries also review the social media presence of visa applicants before they allow entry into their countries—especially for first-time applicants. Investigations by law enforcement typically begin with analyzing the social media profiles of potential suspects. Your posts, comments and likes on other posts and the social media groups and associations you engage with reveal a lot about you.

If you want to keep your job and continue with your career path, here are 10 mistakes you should avoid when using social media.

1. Talking Negatively About Your Boss

Now, if you have an opinion about your job or your boss, social media is probably not the best place to share it, especially if you still report to said boss. Even if you are no longer with them, your current boss will not like an employee who is always talking about the people he or she has worked under. They will believe that one day you will also complain about them. It may even be detrimental to your future job search. Do not think that anything you said about your boss on social media is hidden from them. Such posts travel fast and can make their way to your boss in most unexpected ways. Just avoid it.

2. Announcing Your Job Search or New Job Offer

It’s great that you’ve been offered a job in another firm—but don’t count your proverbial chickens before you actually start working there. If you haven’t started, then you are not the owner of the job yet and shouldn’t brag about it. Some employers may even see it as a sign of the inability to keep secrets, and therefore may cancel the offer. There are many examples of people who have had a job offer revoked because he or she posted about it—contemplating on compensation, or commenting on the distance of the commute and whether or not it’s a job they really want.

3. Text Language on Social Media

Do sane people still do this? I doubt it. For heaven’s sake, this admonition appears in every seminar about job search and retention. So, why would people still do it? Do not use the texting language on social media, no matter the device you are using. Spell everything out or you could lose jobs because of it. People who engage in poor spelling and grammar on social media are seen in a negative manner by employers, according to Jobvite.

4. Political Innuendos

Everyone is entitled to their own political views, inclinations and opinions, but you are an employee and not an activist. Unless you’re an activist—in which case, you do you. While under the employ of people you are not sure about their political leaning, express your views only on the ballot. You could lose your job or a potential future job, especially if recruiters are hiring managers disagree with your political opinion.

5. Bad Words about Customers

Firms can stand with bad owners and ineffective employees. But they can’t survive without good customers. That is why firms value their customers much more than even their executives. One of the things that will ruin your career is complaining about or mocking your customers. You shouldn’t post updates or images of things like poor tips online. These will paint a bad image of your firm, and they may fire you for that.

6. Cyber Bullying

This is another quick way to end your career on social media. This mistake isn’t just bad for your career, but for your life as a human being. Treating people with malice, intimidating people you don’t like, and hurting them emotionally online should be avoided at all costs.

7. Inappropriate Photos

Posting inappropriate content or images online has gotten a lot of people in trouble. You are actually the image of your company both on and off work. So, those images about your night outs, drunken antics, raunchy romance and others, must not be posted on social media.

8. Posting Comments That Are Tasteless

There are some comments you should keep in your head. Do not post them on social media if you don’t want to damage your career. You are free to have opinions. You are even welcome to share them. Just understand that sharing your opinions—especially controversial or socially unacceptable opinions—may also have consequences.

9. Plagiarism

Most people understand that posting scantily clad images, alcohol abuse and cyberbullying could result in adverse consequences at work. A lesser known issue is plagiarism. The business world takes this serious and fights against it. It presents you as lazy and incompetent, especially when you don’t have any remorse about it.

10. Being Online During Work

I advise you not to go checking and replying to your social media notifications during work hours. You are paid to concentrate on your job and accomplish it, and not to socialize during work. This is even worse when you do it with your work computer during work hours. It may be OK if you’re on your own time—during lunch or a break—and interacting from your own personal device, but you should avoid using work time or work equipment for personal social media.

Many social media and marketing professionals share these tips and best practices for how to work with social media. For example, there was a whole section on Max Polyakov’s Noosphere conference where experts presented valuable tips on how to manage social media effectively for positive influence on your career and future job opportunities.

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