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Three Ways to NOT to get FIRED Facebooking

July 19, 2009

3 ways to not to get fired Facebooking – a TechnoEtiquette Issue

facebookAs you know Facebook is a popular social networking site what you might not know is it has had its fair share of user firings:

Kimberly Swann, a former employee at Ivell Marketing & Logistics of Clacton, U.K., thought her job was boring — and she said so on her Facebook page, according to an article in The Daily Telegraph. Swann was called into her manager’s office and handed a letter that cited her Facebook comments as the reason for dismissal:

“Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect.”

 An MSNBC article tells of Kevin Colvin, the legendary young intern who e-mailed his boss, claiming a “family emergency” would keep him out of the office around Halloween. His co-workers (and Facebook friends), however, saw a photo of Colvin dressed as a fairy at a Halloween party time-stamped on the same day of the “emergency.” Colvin’s boss responded to him with an e-mail CC’d to the entire company, firing him and including the incriminating fairy picture.

In March 2009, the same MSNBC article cites Dan Leone, a Philadelphia Eagles stadium employee, who was fired after slamming the football organization for trading a player in this status update:

 “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”

Two days later, the head of event operations said they needed to talk about his Facebook status; instead, he got the boot.

Social networking don’ts
If you want to use your profile to get hired — or at least not get fired — here are three basic rules to keep in mind:

1. Don’t announce interviews, raises or new jobs
As exemplified by “theconnor,” how you talk about any of these sensitive topics on your social networking site is key. If you’re unemployed, writing “Interview today — wish me luck!” would be OK, or if you got a job, something along the lines of “So excited about my new job!” is totally acceptable. If you’re currently employed, however, I don’t think your boss would be too happy to see something like, “Trying to con my boss into giving me a $5K raise. SUCKA!”

2. Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer
Just like in an interview, keep your rants about your boss or company to yourself. If hiring managers see that you’re willing to trash a colleague online they assume you’ll do it to them, too. Plus, there’s always the possibility of getting fired if someone sees your negative comments.

 3. Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed
If your boss knows you’re on the lookout for a new job, feel free to advertise it in your status. If you’re keeping your search below the radar, however, don’t publish anything, anywhere. Even if you aren’t connected to your boss online, somebody can get the information back to him or her.

Do you have other tips and stories to add to these?
Post your comment below.

For more Techno Etiquette advice email us for a 1 hour workshop at 
polishedprofessional@4etiquette.com

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2009 3:52 PM

    Good article. You raise good points about the exposure that Facebook provides. Readers need to remember that any comments you post online under your name could be added to any results people (possible employers, etc.) find when they perform a search on your name.

    As an example, I was once quoted for a story on the death of the fax machine and its decreasing use by businesses. Unfortunately, the headline read, “You Faxing Piece of Sh-t!” (but the “i” was not omitted.) I wasn’t too happy that a search on my name revealed that article …

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