Most of us are using facebook at this point. That includes our coworkers, bosses, and even parents. Not to mention that certain information is now showing up in search engine results. So we wanted to know how to handle it when:
My boss friended me on facebook. What do I do? And what is the right way to use social media with regards to career?
So we turned to our distinguished panel of experts and asked them to share their advice on the topic.
This is actually a very easy question for me to answer because I use Facebook and other social media sites strictly for business. Therefore, I would welcome my boss as a “friend” on Facebook.
One of the things I coach my clients on is how to keep yourself marketable; how to create visibility and credibiltiy around your personal brand. The way you present yourself on social media is the key to being successful at creating this credibility. The first step is to take the time to develop a professional profile for your social media sites and be cognizant of the image that you want to present. The next step is to ensure that all your communications mirror the image you want to convey.
I think it’s somewhat difficult to use the same social media sites for personal contact as well as business and do it really well. The answer might be to use selected sites for each and not to mix the communications and messages.
Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., CEC, is a Certified Executive Coach, motivational speaker, and radio show host. Her weekly show, Women Mean Business, airs live on the VoiceAmerica Business channel Tuesdays 2pm Eastern. The show explores how women can thrive in the business world and features advice from experts on the key issues and challenges women face in their careers.
Certified Executive Coach, Motivational Speaker and Radio Show Host
Listen to Women Mean Business Radio
Everyone uses social media differently. If your Facebook account showcases your personal life in a way that you don’t want to share with your boss, simply ignore their friend request, BUT, go to them and say, “Hey. I saw you friended me. Thanks for that. However, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m actually moving away from Facebook as a networking tool and trying to build my LinkedIn account instead. So, could we link up there?” This way, they won’t be offended.
There is no escaping social media for the simple reason that we’re addicted to the reality of sharing our daily adventures whether we’re twittering our thoughts or catching glimpses of our friends’ weekend through facebook photo albums. Before you upload another photo or write a little something on a wall, remember that social media is personal branding at its finest. That’s you in the picture, that’s your grammar and communication skills in that tweet or poke. If your facebook page represents the ambitious, passionate and professional person you are at work, then there is no reason why you cannot be-friend your boss. If your facebook page shows you and your friends drinking, dancing on the bars, making out with people and wearing “clubbing” clothes, I highly suggest you clean that up. Not only because your boss or co-workers might see that but also what if your clients have access to facebook. My rule of thumb with facebook and other social media outlets is if I meet you in person and then find you on the Internet, you need to reflect the same person. Conversely, if I find you on the Internet first and then meet you in person, your onscreen image should be the same reflection as when we meet in person—in sync!
Amanda is the co-founder of bizMe.biz, an online magazine that is the bizgal’s career coach—guiding and mentoring the young professional as she gains her career savvy, budgets her paycheck, and acquires her lifestyle. It’s like having the honest, real-world advice from a trusted professor and the encouraging support of a best friend all packaged together in articles that reflect a “just like you and me” conversation. Please visit www.bizme.biz or @bizmebizgal on twitter.
This is a very tough question: For the most part I would not have Accepted an invite from my boss on a social media site such a Facebook. I would simply decline by stating; “I have many people on this site who may say things or post stuff that is not work/business appropriate and I would be embarrassed if it ever caught you off gaurd…” I would then follow up by inviting them to join me on linkedIn, Plaxo.
Melenee Suarez Burns, Executive Recruiter at a High-End Retailer
To learn more tips from Melenee, check out our previous interview: Notes from an Executive Recruiter
If your boss sent you a friend request on Facebook, you should probably accept, or else you run the risk of alienating or disrespecting him or her. But that’s when the real fun begins…
Because you are now attached electronically to your boss, you need to be sure that what you write on your wall is positive an professional. You want to avoid being seen as derogatory, condescending, arrogant, hostile, and/or bitter. You also want to avoid cursing, even if you’re just trying to be funny. And, ensure that any picture posted on your Facebook page is professional. Avoid posting pictures of you dressed up like SpongeBob on Halloween drinking a martini.
The good news about receiving an invitation from your boss is that there’s probably a good chance that he or she thinks highly of you, enough to consider having you as a “friend”. And, being connected now means that you’ll be connected when you need a reference for your next job. Just don’t post the fact that you’re looking on your wall!
Abby Kohut , President and Staffing Consultant, Staffing Symphony, LLC
Her websites include www.AbsolutelyAbby.com and www.CareerWakeUpCalls.com
You can also connect with Abby on twitter @Absolutely_Abby and you can also purchase her newly published book 101 JOb Search Secrets.
We want to thank Bonnie, Amanda, J.T., Melenee, and Abby for contributing to this discussion. We hope it helps you make smart decisions about utilizing your social networks.