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I know this sounds weird from a geek like me, but nothing much good comes from social media, as regards the employment relationship and the growth of your career — Let the kids do social media, and you and me keep it private, except for my website of course.

Employers hire firms to review your blog postings, your Facebook postings, your Twitter feeds, etc, etc, etc, and then the employers make decisions about what kind of person you are — Is that fair? (No) — Is that illegal? (Probably not, but let’s reserve that talk for private consults, because there may be some arguments to make) — But your social media postings really can hurt your career, and that’s my point.

  • Real career growth still tends to come from personal contact with those in a position to influence a hiring decision — You make these contacts at seminars and meetings, etc — It remains true that “It isn’t WHAT you know; It’s WHO you know” — And there is no substitute for personally knowing someone — not yet, anyway, and social media doesn’t get you there often enough to offset the dangers, in my opinion.
  • I have never heard of social media getting anyone a job
  • Generally, if an employer’s investigative firm wants your password — Come see a lawyer right away.
  • I have heard of, and had to deal with, social media causing all manner of job problems, though. So be careful.
  • Always think carefully before posting online, because it is forever.

    I, myself, have decided to go public — But my employer is YOU, not some heartless company with a witch as an HR manager — And I have some degree of confidence that YOU won’t hold it against me that I advocate for Employees.

    I have no aspirations to becoming employed by the big management-focused law firms, and won’t be applying to them for a job. So I don’t give a care about how these potential employers view my postings .And it is actually good for my clients that those a–holes know where I stand.

    And they ARE very commonly a–holes.

    But YOU can’t be like me — YOU have to worry about this kinda stuff, the social media and public stuff, for the sake of your career.

    And if anyone does not like what I say, then we are into the old saying —> The cure for “bad speech” is “more speech”.

    So start your own website and preach for how we need FEWER employee rights, and then get about 10% of the population to agree with you, and possibly you could make a buck from right wing advertisers. — Go for it!

    Also, no Government Agency can give me any s–t either, on First Amendment grounds.

    YOU may have to worry very much about how future employers view YOUR postings, whereas I am safer due to my unique circumstances — You are in a very different position than I am — Heed the warnings of this article.

    FYI — I generally decline to speak with media when they call, because I say what I want to say online, and I tend to edit what I say, because the best writing is re-writing, and I have nothing more to say, live, to reporters — Speaking live to reporters is akin somewhat to spur-of-the-moment Facebook or Twitter posts — That stuff can hurt you, and is forever.

    Speak via email, chat and text msg — don’t speak publicly

  • Let the little kids do the social media thing, if you must, but tell them that the things they say at 14y/o could haunt them for life.
  • Consider staying away from LinkedIn. That site encourages you to post too much professional information, so that it makes it more difficult to structure the right summary of your credentials later, and also your reputation rises and falls with the reputations of those in your circle.

    Some people may possibly have benefited from LinkedIn, but none of my clients have, to my knowledge.

    And you are possibly giving a potential new employer too much information, for background check purposes — Be very careful.

    Do not be offended when I fail to respond to your LinkedIn request to add me as a contact — I never have responded to any such request from LinkedIn, and probably never will.

  • Although there is no “central employment file” about us, there is Google — Try to understand the permanency of the Google record.

Article written by | Tim Willoughby


***** END OF ARTICLE *****

Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law

Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)

Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Phil Willoughby, Attorney
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

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