With the allowance of once again being able to attend high school home sporting events comes the enjoyment of talking with other working women whom one may, or may not have, had the opportunity to talk with on a regular basis for quite some time. Yes, emails and social media platforms count for some communication, but let’s face it, there is nothing better than face-to-face conversations, even if half our faces are covered with a mask.
It is a privilege to attend games and have conversation, but the topic of conversation seems to migrate to one of two things but sometimes both. Politics and Covid. Neither topic is one I wish to indulge in when there are still so many positive and pleasant things to discuss. In sharing my opinion with another adult, somehow the topic of sharing opinions on social media came up which coincides with working women losing focus on their professionalism.
In the course of this conversation, several opinions were shared and agreed on. For instance, when a person’s posts have a rotation of politics, humor, personal and/or work posts, they are easily scrolled through and ignored if that is preferred. However, when people begin to post constant opinions on politics with their preference shining through, it begins to wear on their professionalism. No matter if you are a lunch lady, an insurance agent, a teacher, a brain surgeon, an astronaut or somewhere in between, one must always remember they are a professional.
Professionalism on social media matters when it comes to your reputation. As communication and the means to do so continue to evolve, it is important for people to stay involved with consumers, coworkers, and potentials customers or vendors via online presence. Oftentimes, business owners or an employee will create a separate page or account for the business, so their personal life stays private as possible. However, when that is not possible, it is a challenge to maintain the balance between personal and work life when it comes to creating and posting.
Elizabeth Rock, Social Media and Member Engagement Manager for AICPA, has this to say, “Always remember you are representing your employer. You must practice self-policing. Things that interest you personally may not be something you should share on a professional account. Social media is a powerful tool, but one tweet, even when deleted, can undercut your message and credibility pretty quickly. Maintaining your professional appearance may mean ignoring the most recent celebrity scandal that shows up on your news feed.”
If one ignores proper social media etiquette, remember your reputation, your job or your business could be at stake.
In fact, CareerBuilder.com reports that in 2013, of the employers who screen potential job candidates using social networks, 43% said they didn’t hire them due to the content found. About 50% cited inappropriate and provocative images and content as the reasons.
An article on firstinstitute.com shared a professionalism “don’t”, and of the list, it is one tip that should fall under common sense:
“Don’t post content that is overly opinionated. Unless your brand is directly related to religion or politics, try to refrain from posting about them. It is fairly “Don’t post content that is over opinionated. Unless your brand is directly related to religion or politics, try to refrain from posting about them. It’s easy for these topics to make you sound judgmental, close-minded, and extreme to others. This goes for other highly opinionated posts, which can offend potential clients and employers. If you simply must share on these issues, be sure to do it tactfully.”
Always keep in mind, it is your reputation that is being affected by the lack of appropriateness or too much of an opinion in each post.