Having MySpace or other social-networking sites that present anything less than a stellar picture of oneself can hurt one’s chances at advancement or even ongoing employment. This goes for full-time employed people and freelancers/consultants.
Last month, I wrote a post discussing the potential dangers that social-networking sites can have on future employment.
In my morning reading, I came across the below news story written by Nate Anderson on ars technica.
Every teacher wants to be the cool guy, the Robin-Williams-in-Dead-Poet’s-Society friend to students, but a court case from Connecticut offers a lesson to teachers-in-training: be careful when you buddy up to students online. While sites like MySpace make it easy to engage in casual contact with students, they also make it easy for the contact to cross professional red lines.
While this teacher clearly stepped over the line with his students, it does illustrate some of the dangers of social-networking sites and conflicts of interest that may have an effect on employment status.
The greater position of authority, or likely hood of promotion, that someone is in, the greater the level of scrutiny that people will be under. If someone is going to be considered for promotion, management and HR will review not only the work ethic and achievements of the candidate, but may review public information to be sure that the person is truly ready for the position.
It is simple, people checkout the people that are in positions of trust. At the beginning of each school year, I search the Internet for any information about my daughters’ teachers and principal. As a parent, I want to “know” the people that have influence over my children. I am fortunate that I have never found anything that was disturbing, but that does not mean that I do not continue to check. And if I find something, you bet I will bring it to the attention of the principal or school board.
Be aware of your online identify – It Matters!