Over the past two weeks, there have been two stories that hit me as it relates to protecting your employability in the age of social media.
Kevin Hart’s twitter history caused him to rescind his acceptance to host the Oscars.
Then a cleaning crew hired to clean up at the Camp Fire in Northern California, where approximately 85 people died, were fired over their social media posts.
Social media isn’t new. Bad judgment isn’t new. So why are people continuing to self destruct? I think it’s because they can’t understand how they are essentially self publishing. These people think the group viewing is limited. They don’t get how quickly bad taste can go viral and they will forever be the cautionary tale friends talk about over dinner.
You don’t want to lose out on any opportunities. Ever. It’s clear that people are increasing more sensitive. Comedians are complaining constantly about censorship. It’s easy to understand. They are ….comedians. Not teachers or youth leaders or politicians. In their job description is crossing the line. Ask Kevin Hart if he would reconsider some of his tweets from 2009. I bet he would say yes.
But the rest of the world isn’t paid for crossing the line. We are paid to not make controversial statements. Comedians say that tragedy plus 8 days is the formula for doing a bit on a really tragic event. For the average job seeker that formula is tragedy plus never. As it don’t do it. Especially on social media.
Job seekers need to understand that if you are an entrepreneur or rich, there are different rules. You have more freedom but certainly, if you are out of control with your social media posts, you will be incurring moral hazard and financial risks. For the rest of us, we just don’t have that option.
You have options but the truth is that they are not foolproof. First, you can set your privacy setting so that your accounts aren’t public. Think about setting up different groups as well in Facebook and Instagram that are limited so that the circle of people is very limited who can view the posts.
Another option is to not post much at all. Do you really need to do it? What will happen if you don’t?