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Social Media Posts Costing Jobs: FindLaw Survey

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 24, 2013 1:05 PM

By now, you'd think we all know that sketchy social media behavior can cost you a job.

But then we hear of people like Jofi Joseph, the National Security Council official who was recently sacked by the White House. Joseph posted highly offensive -- and frankly, lame -- tweets about Washington's movers and shakers under the Twitter handle @NatSecWonk, The New York Times reports.

Apparently, Joseph should have listened to the sentiments of young adults surveyed by FindLaw, 29 percent of whom feared their social media activity would get them fired.

Such fears would be justified as many workers have, in fact, lost their jobs because of unflattering social media antics, a new FindLaw.com survey reveals. Here are some of the survey's key findings:

  • 4 percent of adults say their posts caused negative employment consequences. About 1 in 25 respondents said that something they posted on social media, such as Facebook or YouTube, resulted in them either being fired from their job, not being offered a job, losing a promotion, or being officially reprimanded or disciplined. From insulting clients or customers to posting proprietary information, there are many ways in which you can get fired over your social media posts.
  • More than half of those individuals were explicitly told their social media postings were to blame. Of those who suffered negative employment consequences, more than 50 percent said they were directly informed by their supervisor that inappropriate social media postings were the reason; 39 percent said that they were told by someone other than their supervisor. We'll just go ahead and say it: We told you so. Remember, it's now quite common for supervisors and employers to use search engines to check up on existing and prospective employees.
  • 9 percent said they "guessed" social media was the reason for negative consequences. Even festering suspicion that bad social media habits may have caused certain repercussions should be cause for concern. Apathy among young people about potential employment repercussions for careless social media posts is becoming a big problem. Since old habits die hard, use your gut instinct to be proactive.

For more information on how a social media "no-no" can lead to an employment "oh no," check out FindLaw's section on Employment Law.

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