Can You Be (Face­book) Friends With Your Boss?

Big Brother is al­ways watch­ing, es­pe­cially in the of­fice.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - SMART REPORT -

Just be­fore board­ing a flight to South Africa last year, PR ex­ec­u­tive Jus­tine Sacco posted the fol­low­ing on her per­sonal Twit­ter ac­count: “Go­ing to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kid­ding. I’m white!” Jus­tine was fired shortly af­ter the plane landed.

Go­ing On The Record

The first les­son to take away from Jus­tine’s story is you rep­re­sent your em­ployer at all times (even with your per­sonal ac­counts), so think be­fore you tweet. Se­condly, be care­ful about tone – as­sume that if what you say on­line can be taken out of con­text, it prob­a­bly will be!

Keep It To Your­self

Your vir­tual friends aren’t your only au­di­ence – what­ever you say on­line can spread far and wide, so don’t say any­thing you wouldn’t to peo­ple in real life. This doesn’t just ap­ply to rants and risque jokes – even happy up­dates such as cel­e­brat­ing a pay raise or pro­mo­tion can com­pli­cate mat­ters in the of­fice – you don’t want to ap­pear like you’re show­ing off. Even if you’re not vir­tual friends with your boss, who’s to say that a jeal­ous col­league won’t play tat­tle­tale and tell him or her about your lat­est faux pas?

BFFs With The Boss

What if your boss sends you a friend re­quest? Re­ject­ing it may send the wrong sig­nal, so what should you do? Firstly, make sure there isn’t any­thing in your pro­file that may wreck your pro­fes­sional image. Ad­just your pri­vacy set­tings to con­trol what your boss can view be­fore adding her. But if your boss keeps bug­ging you about why you haven’t re­sponded to her friend re­quest, some­times it’s best to just come clean and say you think it might be awk­ward. Try to phrase it in a light­hearted fashion. For ex­am­ple, tell her: “It’s not per­sonal, I don’t even add my par­ents on Face­book when they ask!”.

To friend or not to friend? That is the ques­tion.

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