Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Mixing Online Social Networking ...
Mixing Online Social Networking with Work

Mixing Online Social Networking with Work

Should You Do It?

By Caroline M.L. Potter, Yahoo! HotJobs

Social networking isn't really news, but its use in the workplace is.

According to a survey of human resources professionals by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting organization, 59 percent of companies don't have a formal policy in place regarding the use of social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, at the office, perhaps because nearly half of those polled said surfing these sites isn't a problem as long as employees are completing their work.

"Employers face the challenge of maintaining a productive workplace while allowing their employees access to sites that facilitate communication with a variety of resources," says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "More companies will be forced to address the issue as the number of workers using these sites continues to grow."

While perception is generally positive, one-third of those surveyed indicated that social networking sites are a "major drain on worker output." Nearly one-quarter of companies reported blocking access to the sites entirely, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

How can social networkers handle this technology at the office? Read on for five tips from career experts.

1. Use It

"I think it's a huge tool," says author Nicholas Aretakis. "I try to convey to recent graduates that employers actually want people who have the ability to market and sell through these massive networking sites. Whether it's used to launch an album, promote a book or sell another product, it's valuable to have these large distribution lists, to get invited to join groups, to find out what's hot and what's not."

Career strategist Daisy Swan concurs. "In terms of networking and finding out about career paths and to get a sense of different kinds of people and professional opportunities, I think it's fantastic," she says. "I'm all for the social networking sites because I believe there's so much you can learn. And if you want to be accessible to headhunters, it's great."

2. But Don't Abuse It

Social networking is a good thing -- but too much of any good thing can sometimes be bad. Experts caution workers to exercise restraint when accessing these sites at the office. "As an employer, I'd be incredibly disappointed if an employee were keeping a running tab on his whereabouts throughout the workday on any site," Swan says. "My perspective on that is that it's like taking personal calls all day long."

Aretakis advises adhering to your emloyer's protocol. "If there isn't one, just utilize it as you'd utilize your email or browsing the Net," he says. "If you're on for a short time, it's probably fine, but if you're spending more than half an hour of business time on social networking, it's probably not a good idea."

Swan adds that if you're in marketing or business strategy and social networking is part of your job, then you can justify your social media use. If not, keep it to a minimum.

3. Once You're a Professional, Keep It Professional

A lot of MySpace and Facebook users first created their profiles when they were students. And many of those students are now prospective employees. Edit out casual or crass content from your profile so you come across as a professional. "Always be aware that any social networking profile you're putting out there should be employer-worthy," Swan says. "Make certain you have a respectable page because these are used as references for anybody to look at."

Aretakis agrees that job seekers need to exercise discretion. "Instead of calling themselves 'hotsexybabe' or the like, they may want to adopt a more neutral handle and image," he says.

4. Be Aware of the Company You Keep

Fair or not, we're often judged by the people with whom we associate. Use caution when "friending" folks. Don't do so indiscriminately or you may wind up just a few clicks away from shady characters that can undermine your professional reputation.

Swan also urges social networkers to be careful about the groups they join. "If you're going to get involved with groups, those affiliations can be public," she says. "People can learn a lot -- or speculate a lot -- about you through the groups you join." If you want to control your image, she suggests managing your privacy options within each online network you join.

5. Watch What You Say

Because no privacy option seems unhackable these days, err on the side of caution when posting anything to your personal profiles. "You need to know what you're putting out there in terms of your messaging," Swan says. "Anything you wouldn't want everyone to hear you say? Don't put it on there."

Aretakis adds, "Don't put anything in writing that you wouldn't want the people in HR read. Even something said in jest could get you fired."

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
Posted: 09/01/2014
Lake Charles, LA
Jordan's Furniture
Posted: 09/01/2014
Natick, MA
Posted: 09/01/2014
Saint Clairsville, OH, 43950
Posted: 09/01/2014
Pittsburgh, PA, 15220
Indian River Medical Center
Posted: 09/01/2014
Nashville, TN

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.45.50-214
eTrustLogo