How To Be Facebook Friends With The Boss & Keep Your Job


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25% of workers are friends with their boss on Facebook, but it may be negatively impacting on their careers (especially if they are part of the 1 in 8 that vent about a bad day at work on Facebook too!).

Here's our guide on how to be friends with the boss on Facebook and keep your job.

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How To Be Facebook Friends With The Boss & Keep Your Job

  1. 1. Contents3- Intro5- Don’t Post In Anger6- Vary your friend privacy settings8- Respect the rules9- Clean up your act11 - A picture says a thousand words12 - Don’t stretch the truth13 - Show your best side14 - Finally, remember youre amassing digital content every day of your life 2
  2. 2. Entering the world of work today is a very different experience compared towhat it was ten let alone 20 years ago.A decade ago, you would have had a computer and most probably an emailaddress. You may or may not have had access to the Internet. Assumingyour workplace allowed it, surfing the web was a more pedestrian (not tomention slower) experience than it is today.As a result, the way you interacted with people online was what you might callpoint to point. If you had a bad day at work, you might email your partner ora friend about it. That would be the end of it.Today, youll be entering an environment where the chances are most of yourworkmates are on Facebook and / or other social networks like Twitter and thephoto-sharing service Instagram.Those networks in turn have become very often the default channel for us toexpress our thoughts and feelings to friends, family, and (in the case of anetwork like Twitter) very often complete strangers.Social media use now spans all age groups and so in a lot of cases, youllactually be sharing your online opinions with your boss or potentialfuture employers.As part of AVG’s on-going "Digital Diaries" studies, which looks at howtechnology impacts different areas of our lives, we polled 4,500 18-25 yearolds in eleven countries across the globe to see how they use social mediaat work. 3
  3. 3. A quarter of respondents overall – and as many as a third in the USA alone -told us they were Facebook friends with the boss. In the vast majority ofcases, this is most likely perceived as just normal office interaction; however,it also means that what these individuals do socially outside of work is alsovisible to the person who ultimately manages them.Social media opens up both challenges and opportunities for anyone currentlyin or applying for their first job.At AVG, weve put together some suggestions to help you shine online withyour current and any future employer in mind. 4
  4. 4. Don’t post in angerIt sounds obvious, but it is a golden rule that is not always observed. One ineight 18-25 year olds told us that theyd been abusive about their boss oremployer after a bad day at work.Depending on what you post and what company rules are, this could get you introuble. In a worst case scenario, such comments could actually get youdisciplined or even fired. Not only could this cause problems in your currentjob, it is also possible that it may affect your future career prospects as well.What is the likelihood of this actually happening? Put yourself in the shoes of afuture employer who searches your social media profiles and finds unflatteringcomments about your place of work.They’ll be wondering: If you have done that in the past, then who is to say youwont do it again in your new job? It marks you out as a loose cannon and someone who cant be trusted tofollow the most basic rules, let alone respect company confidentiality.As a result, before posting anything at all related to your place of work, take astep back and try to understand if this something you would feel comfortablesaying out loud in the middle of the office? If not, dont post. 5
  5. 5. Vary your friend privacy settingsMost (80 percent) of the 18-25 year olds we surveyed said they do restricttheir Facebook profiles to friends only. However, that still means 20 percenthave Facebook profiles that are completely open for everyone to see.However, far fewer (40 percent) distinguish between what informationFacebook friends who are also work colleagues can see on their profiles andwhat they post for their personal friends.The distinction is a crucial one as the definition of a Facebook friend can varygreatly. It can be your best friend or your spouse. It can be someone youlast saw in school ten years ago. It can be someone you met once at aconference. Or, increasingly, it can be someone you work with. 6
  6. 6. In fact, Facebook tells us that someone who joined the network two years agowill now have an average of 305 friends. Thats a lot of people who can look at(and potentially re-share) what you are posting on a daily basis.Facebook allows you to group your friends into lists and selectively sharecontent. To see how it’s done, check out the FAQs on the Facebook site.Facebook already lets you group friends into close friends, acquaintances and"restricted" lists as a default. Facebook specifically tells us that the lattermight apply to your boss.People on your restricted list can only see your public profile and posts andanything you tag them in - in other words, the bare minimum.You can also create custom lists, for example, if you wanted to group people atwork into different offices or departments. The fact is the ability to filtercontent on Facebook is already there.Finally, if you are on Google+, make use of the circles which allow you togroup your contacts. Create one for your work colleagues and any looserconnections. Create another for people with whom you really do feelcomfortable sharing more widely. 7
  7. 7. Respect the rulesThe chances are your new workplace will have a set of rules about how youcan and cannot use social media at work. A third of young adults told us thattheir workplace actually restricts or bans access to social networks.Even if your employer hasnt published these rules, youll still be covered bywhat it says in your contract. In particular, there are three things to lookout for:1 - Confidentiality: If you mention in online forums what you are doing atwork, are you giving away any company secrets?2 - Bringing your employer into disrepute: If pictures appear of you "over-indulging" at the office party, you could fall foul of this.The same applies if you post opinions or comments on websites that a lot ofyour workmates could find offensive (e.g. comments deemed to be racist,sexist or homophobic).3 - Intellectual property: It is worth remembering that most employmentcontracts have clauses saying that what you produce or create at work belongsto the employer.Again, use commonsense. If you were standing in a crowded train or bus,would you feel comfortable talking about some of the things you have postedonline especially if your workplace is involved? If no, then dont say it.Finally, using your own personal accounts to share inappropriate commentsisnt an excuse. If you give away trade secrets via your own Twitter account,thats still a breach of your work contract. 8
  8. 8. Clean up your actIn our study, we found that less than half (43 percent) of young adults haddone an online audit of their social media accounts and cleaned out anyembarrassing or incriminating information.For the 57 percent who havent done this, this should be something theyshould be doing regularly. If you fall into this category, here are a few tips toget you started:1 - Use Google. As a first step, search for yourself on Google and set up aGoogle alert on your name.Remember to allow for misspellings. If your name is Claire, also search forClare. If you are Robyn, search for Robin and so on. Search for e.g. "ClareSmith" as well as Clare Smith and Clare + (the name of your employer).Then set up a Google alert, so you get a notification in your inbox whenevertheres a mention about you online ( you have a Google account, then use the Google Dashboard to search formentions of your name and your email address. If you dont have one, createone, as this is a very useful service. 9
  9. 9. 2 - Use other services for social media searches. There are a number thatallow you to search for social media mentions of yourself. One example isSocial Mention while another is Whos Talkin.Twitter also has a straight forward search function - - Don’t use silly names for your social media profiles. Ideally your socialmedia profiles should be consistent (so that someone can find you easily) anduse an ID that is fairly close to your own name.In some circumstances, you might not want to use your own name, but use adescription of what you do, for example @johneditor.However, @iluvjustinbieber might not give someone the right impression whenapplying for a job! Twitter and other social networks actually allow you tochange your ID so you can overcome such youthful indiscretions.4 - Look at your content from the point of view of an employer. Now thatyouve seen whats publicly available about you, how would a potentialemployer view it? Is there anything you think is embarrassing or youd reallyrather not be there for everyone to see? If so, the next step is toaddress this.5 - Remove incriminating content if you can. Unhappy with a comment youposted in anger on a blog? Some will let you remove it. Dont want everyoneto see that photo a Facebook friend posted? Untag yourself. Do you think inretrospect you shouldnt have sent that tweet? Delete it.Note, deleting a tweet wont prevent someone seeing it if it’s already in theirfeed. However, it will remove it from Twitter search.6 - Take control of your own online reputation. The final step is to try topositively influence what appears about you when people search your name.There are a few ways to doing this. Well talk a little later about creating apersonal online hub, or blog.If you are really motivated, there is also evidence that an active profile onGoogle Plus (Googles social network) will help your search rankings, if you arealso a prolific writer online and use Google Authorship to claim and group yourwriting. Kiss Metrics has a useful guide on their blog about how todo this here. 10
  10. 10. A picture says a thousand wordsTheres that famous saying that a picture says a thousand words and indeed,there is research that people will be 100 percent+ more likely to interact witha Facebook post that includes a photo.Especially with more and more of us using our smartphones as our maincamera, a lot of social media posts now contain a visual element. In twoyears, the mobile photo sharing network Instagram has grown to 100+ millionusers. If you use Instagram, that content will be completely public, unlessyouve decided to lock your account.Meanwhile on Facebook, 300 million photos are posted a day.If you post pictures on your social networks, remember youre essentiallyproviding a visual diary of what you do on a day-by-day basis.As a result, take care when posting any kind of content. Take extra carewith pictures. 11
  11. 11. Don’t stretch the truthFor a lot of people, a profile on the professional social network LinkedIn isstarting to replace the standard CV. LinkedIn is a certainly great network foranyone looking to build their career.Its a good place to show off your professional achievements, an excellentplace to connect with people who can help you in your career, and increasingly,a useful place to search for jobs.Dont however be tempted to stretch the truth when creating your profile andexaggerating your achievements.Even a future employer does take every word youve written at face value,remember that most companies still ask for references. So if youve saidanything thats not true, youll risk being found out at the final stage. 12
  12. 12. Show your best sideFinally, and possibly most importantly, it’s not all bad news. A good onlinefootprint can actually enhance your job prospects.1 - Use LinkedIn and dont be afraid to ask for recommendations. Wevealready mentioned the professional social network LinkedIn. If you haventgot a profile, create one, and start connecting with everyone youve everworked with or been to school / college with.LinkedIn has a very useful new starter guide to help you on your way whichyou can find here.Once youve built your profile and connections, dont be afraid to ask for arecommendation. These can come from people who have managed you, co-workers and previous suppliers / customers. Crucially, if you dont like whattheyve said about you, it wont appear on your profile.2 - Group your social media profiles in one place. and About.meare examples of online hubs you can create to showcase all your differentprofiles and content.For example, once you have created, you can then add inall your various social networks as well as write a short biography aboutyourself.These profiles will help your search ranking and has published a fewsimple steps to help here.3 - Run a blog. If you write online, or if you have some kind of hobby orinterest youd like to showcase, think about creating a blog.There are several alternatives here - Blogger and Wordpress are the traditionalblogging platforms and work well with the written word. However, the worldsmost popular blogging platform is now Tumblr, which is both very visual andhas a more informal scrapbook style. Tumblr, and a newer alternative, Jux,work well especially if you have pictures or imagery you want to share.Why can having a blog assist your career? First of all, it’s another way topositively influence your search profile. It also gives a potential employer aninsight into your personality and (where appropriate) your writing style. Itmakes you much more three dimensional to anyone considering you for a job. 13
  13. 13. Finally, remember youre amassing digital content everyday of your lifeEvery day, by posting, commenting, sharing, you are adding to the informationthat exists about you.In a year, that could amount to hundreds of different pieces of content that arearound. Fast-forward ten years and according to Facebook boss MarkZuckerberg, you’ll be sharing 1000x what you are now!What do you want all this digital content to say about you?How easily do you want it to be discovered? What can you do, to make surethat the bits that are publicly accessible and will help you in your personal andprofessional life?These are questions that shouldnt be left to chance, instead, your digitalfootprint is something you should be actively managing as more and morepeople will be getting their first impressions about you online.For more information on AVG Digital Diaries, go to 14