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Career Coach

Think Before You Post

Published October 7, 2015 11:13 AM by Renee Dahring
This past week there has been a bit of a local scandal involving an "alleged" tweet by someone who really ought to know better. Apparently this person posted a rather inappropriate comment about a specific minority group. The tweet wasn't obscene and didn't contain any profane language but it was insensitive to say the least. Quite predictably folks are calling for his job and even more predictably he is claiming his account was hacked. 

By now you probably know where I am going with this post and yes this is going to be another reminder that you must be very careful when using any sort of social media. Have you ever heard the quote "Where do I go to get my reputation back?" Your image is priceless, and once it has been ruined you might not ever recover. It's a fact of life that negative news always outlasts the positive. 

Just because you don't post something outrageously offensive doesn't mean you aren't at risk. I know a whole bunch of clinicians who are perfectly nice people but you wouldn't necessarily know if from their social media posts. If your posts are overly negative or complaining you might be sending a message you don't mean to send. Yes, we all have a bad day but a constant stream of disappointment in the world gets old. And so does the self-righteousness. If you are a person who works with the public you should keep in mind that whenever you post a strong or controversial political viewpoint there is at least a 50/50 chance that someone is going to feel the opposite. And now you have probably just alienated them.

I wouldn't put too much faith in thinking you can keep your posts private either. Just one "like" or "share" and your words or images are no longer private. I know I see posts every day that I would bet my next paycheck that the author thought were private. 

Before you post anywhere ask yourself if you would feel comfortable sharing the post with your employer or any of your patients. Ask yourself if your post put your best side forward? If it doesn't then hit the delete button. Your post probably won't make the local news but it could easily end up on your boss's or patient's computer screen. The best case scenario for you is embarrassment; the worst is losing your job. And worse yet, if you have made reference to a patient you might get sued. Many employers now routinely keep an eye what their employees are up to on social media. It's also becoming very common to check Google and social media before hiring. 

Best to stick to posting cute baby animal videos and a few recipes.

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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