Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: Are you jeopardizing your job with social media?

By: Chip Dizard
Go to Chip's Home Page

You have heard the horror stories, last year, a North Carolina school district disciplined several faculty members for Facebook content such as personal photos and comments about students. reported that an Associated Press staffer in Philadelphia was reprimanded for a Facebook posting that criticized his company.

According to Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group, a human resources consulting firm says "If I can put up pictures of the kids, I can put up pictures from a meeting,". "If I can talk about a recipe I saw with my sister, I can put up an article about something I saw that's work-related. ... People are talking about you, whether you want them to or not. As a company, you need to think about how you want to be positioned."

Companies are now dealing with this dilemma because work and personal lives often collide. Many companies have resorted to blocking social networking sites due to lost productivity and network concerns.

The key for employees to know is that whatever you post online can be used against you. Employers are often checking your online profile as a condition of employment. I had a client recently come to me about a web site link , she consented to do an interview on a major cable network, but it was for a surgery she wanted to keep private. So when you googled her name her employees found out that she had cosmetic surgery. This was something she agreed to with the cable network and it couldn't be taken down. For those people who want to protect their reputation, there are a few companies that will do that for a fee. One that is very popular is Reputation Defender.

Whatever you do, just be wise and trust your gut, if it seems inappropriate it probably is, I always err on the side of caution, especially in the workplace.