How To Avoid Getting Fired For Posting Things Online

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Photo: ishane via flickr

Journalist Kristopher Brooks — whose job offer was rescinded after he decided to blog about it — is a prime example that disclosing too much information online can backfire in the workplace.While employers expect young workers to have an online presence, it’s still confusing as to what’s appropriate to post on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Meranda Watling at recently wrote about how Millennials can be forthcoming about who they are, but still protect their career and ultimately not get fired for it. “If you have to think about it, you probably shouldn’t post it,” she says. “If you do not have proof to back up your comments, do not write them.”

While Watling encourages young people to post their resumes online and maintain a presence on various social media, she says that there are some precautions everyone should take when expressing themselves to the public. Here are her tips:

1. Don’t hide it. It’s probably the best idea to just go ahead and let your superiors know what’s already there online. Watling says the most important thing is having a candid discussion with your boss(es) about what’s not OK to post.

2. When in doubt, don’t post it. “If you hesitate about whether something will be taken the wrong way, or whether your co-workers, your friends or your community would appreciate the post and understand your intentions, do not post it.”

3. Don’t write about your sources. This includes your bosses. If you don’t think you’d be able to write about it at your daytime job, it’s probably a good idea to refrain from writing about it on your own time. 

5. Be professional. “Disclaimers such as “opinions are my own” do not nullify that public perception.”

Now read about 17 people who were fired before they became rich and famous> 

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