Home > Career Life > Are You Friends with Your Boss on Facebook? 5 Tips to Help You Make That Decision

Are You Friends with Your Boss on Facebook? 5 Tips to Help You Make That Decision

facebook employee boss exchange fired hate my jobLast week, I walked by my boss’s office and heard him say something along the lines of, “Oh yea! I’m friends with that guy on Facebook.” At first I didn’t think anything of it, but about 4 steps later I smiled to myself and may have chuckled out loud. “My boss is on Facebook?” I thought to myself, “That’s weird…” By the time I got back to my desk, a number of thoughts ran through my head. “I wonder what kind of stuff he posts on Facebook. I wonder who he’s friends with at work. I wonder if he knows that I have a Facebook. I wonder if he’s seen my Facebook.” But the most intriguing question that crossed my mind was, “Should I send my boss a friend request on Facebook?”

Your online presence can be a very valuable tool for your career, but it can also be extremely detrimental. One wrong word or one bad picture can ruin your online presence and even your career. Here are 5 tips for keeping your Facebook “boss-friendly”:

    1. Get rid of those party pictures.

    So you’re a party animal? That’s fine. But you’re boss doesn’t need to know that. What’s off limits when it comes to Facebook pictures? Alcohol is typically frowned upon. If you have a picture of yourself holding a beer bottle, untag it or delete it. I would say it’s okay to have a picture of yourself holding a Styrofoam cup filled with Pina Colada, because that could be anything in there. Any obscene clubbin’ pictures (you know what I’m talking about) should probably go. Like everyone says, if you have trouble explaining a picture to your grandmother, it probably doesn’t belong on your Facebook.

    2. Restructure your friends list.

    Remember that when a friend posts something on your wall, anyone can see it. So if your friend posts something like, “Yo bro, we gonna get dirty this weekend at the club ahhhhhh,” even though you’ve never gone to the club with this person in your life, everyone thinks that’s what you do. Removing these people might hurt your friendship, but it will positively impact your online presence.

    3. Think about your status updates before you submit them.

    Why are we so inclined to post status updates that are completely ridiculous? For example, the lyrics of a dirty rap song without quoting the artist or the song. So instead of me reading it and saying, “Oh yea, I know that song,” I think “Did he really just say that?”

    4. Consider implementing a friending policy.

    What is a friending policy? Well, a policy is simply a rule, so a friending policy is a rule that guides your friend making decision on Facebook. I have a very strict friending policy because my Facebook is meant for close friends. One, I typically don’t send friend requests to other people. I wait for people to send me a friend request. Two, I don’t accept friend requests from people I’ve never met in person. If they are a professional connection, I will ask them to connect on LinkedIn. If they are anyone else, I might follow them on Twitter.

    5. Don’t ever talk about work on Facebook.

    This is one of the quickest ways to get yourself fired. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen complain about how they hate their job and how their boss is a “five letter B-word.” Companies monitor what their employees are doing on Facebook, so don’t be surprised when you’re cleaning out your desk the next day.

My last and final tip on Facebook is this. If your boss asks to be your friend on Facebook, complete steps 1-5 above before accepting (assuming you’ve kept your entire profile private to non-friends, meaning they couldn’t see what was going on before hand). If you find your boss on Facebook, by all means send them a friend request, but make sure you’ve addressed these 5 tips before doing so. Remember, once you’ve friended your boss, there’s no turning back. Changing your Facebook strategy can be extremely challenging, but I promise you it will pay off in the long run.

Thanks to Dr. Bret Simmons and his Personal Branding class, I have no problem sending my boss a friend request because I know my Facebook is “boss-friendly.”

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Related Content:

Should your boss be your Facebook friend?

Befriending your boss on Facebook

Woman ‘sacked’ after abusing boss on Facebook

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