21 Dec

Too Social? When Social Media Goes Wrong at Work

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

We all know the main things that can get you fired such as poor performance, lying, stealing and cheating.  However, there are more subtle issues in the workplace that can also find you with the proverbial pink slip in your hand. This month we will explore what they might be.

Recently we wrote about the social workplace. In order to stay relevant and remain competitive it is imperative for companies to embrace social media. However, sometimes, when in the wrong hands, social media could get a company or employee in trouble.

Employees have been fired from a job for posting negative or distasteful comments from their personal accounts. Some employees have mistakenly got their company in trouble by tweeting something from the company twitter account instead of their personal account. Even when you try to delete these gaffes, sometimes it’s too late and the damage has been done.

During the 2012 Presidential debates a member of KitchenAid’s Twitter team tweeted a negative comment about President Obama’s grandmother from the corporate twitter account. He thought he was tweeting from his personal account.  The tweet was eventually deleted, but not before it had been retweeted by other twitter followers. While this employee was not fired, he was removed from the Twitter team.

Sometimes a company intentionally sends out a tweet, not knowing that it was in bad taste until they are flooded with all of the negative responses. Kenneth Cole was criticized last year for using the historic revolution in Egypt as an opportunity to promote their new spring collection on Twitter. Kenneth Cole himself attempted to apologize by later tweeting:

Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC

Other companies have also had their share of embarrassing moments on social media. So what can you do to prevent these types of situations? Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get too social with your social media and end up getting fired, or at the very least embarrassing your company:

  • Think before you post. If it is something that someone else could find offensive or discriminatory, you probably should not post it – even if it is your own personal account.
  • You should check your privacy settings, to make sure what you post is not visible to the world.
  • If you are responsible for multiple twitter accounts, double check that you are tweeting from the one you intended before you hit post.
  • If in fact you do make a social media blunder, quickly apologize and try to rectify the gaffe.

It is important think before you tweet or post on other social media outlets. Social media blunders can not only threaten your job security, but can also ruin the reputation of your company’s brand.

::POLL: To What Extent Is Your Company Involved With Social Media? (LTAW)::

Yes, you might be fired for that!

19 Dec

Did You Lie to Get That Job?

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

lying to get jobWe all know the main things that can get you fired such as poor performance, lying, stealing and cheating.  However, there are more subtle issues in the workplace that can also find you with the proverbial pink slip in your hand. This month we will explore what they might be.

We all want to stand out above the rest as the most exceptional candidate when we apply for a job. We try to include every possible skill on our resume, whether we have minimal or expert knowledge.

We may exaggerate a tiny bit about our experience to make it sound like we were the “Superperson” at our former job. Let’s face it, the goal is to make ourselves look as qualified as possible. We do want the job after all. A 2012 survey of 2,200 professionals at small, medium and large businesses showed that 70% had discovered a person who had lied on their resume.

During these tough economic times, with high unemployment rates, we may go to extremes, including telling falsehoods to try to get a job. While slight exaggerations may not matter much in the long run, outright lies can come back to haunt you and cost you  a lot more than your  job.

Earlier this year we heard a lot about former Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson, who was caught padding his resume. Thompson claimed he had obtained a computer science degree, when in fact his degree was in accounting. Although Thompson may have had a successful track record in his career, his situation proves that when this type of information is exposed to important people, like company investors, it could be detrimental. Ultimately, Thompson’s dishonesty led to him being fired from Yahoo.

Some of the most common resume lies include:

  • Lying about getting a degree
  • Lying about the dates you actually worked somewhere
  • Exaggerating numbers (e.g. “Increased revenues by 1000%”)
  • Inflating previous salary
  • Lying about previous job titles
  • Fibbing about technical skills
  • Claiming language fluency
  • Providing a fake address
  • Padding grade point averages

You may think that lying on your resume or during an interview may not matter much, but you never know when the information may be reviewed again. As you move up the professional career ladder into more senior level positions your lies may catch up with you.

It’s simple, if you do not have the experience or necessary requirements for the job, do not apply. One lie simply leads to more lies and you end up leading yourself down a negative spiral of deceit. When your employer finds out the truth, your reputation is tarnished and you will more than likely lose your job and may find it difficult to find another one in the same industry. Save yourself the embarrassment. Practice integrity in all that you do.

Yes, you might be fired for that!

Have you ever lied to get a job? Do you know someone who lied to get a job? Tell us your story!

17 Dec

Youa��ve Got Some Explaining To Do! What To Say After Youa��ve Been Fired

Blog 2 Comments by Susan McCuistion

what to say if you were fired from a jobWe all know the main things that can get you fired such as poor performance, lying, stealing and cheating. A�However, there are more subtle issues in the workplace that can also find you with the proverbial pink slip in your hand. This month we will explore what they might be.

Maybe youa��ve been there, maybe you havena��t: for whatever reason, you were fired from your job, and now, you are out on the market looking for new employment. What do you say when you are asked why you left your last job?

Regardless of whether the situation was your fault or not, it can be awkward to answer this question. Certainly, you should not lie. Besides being unethical, it can come back to haunt you. Rather, you should be prepared with an answer. A�Your response will depend on the circumstances of your termination. Here are a few suggestions:

  • a�?I outlasted several downsizings but the last one included me. Sign of the times, I guess.a�?
  • a�?I wanted my career to move in a different direction, and I guess my mental separation set up the conditions that led to my departure. But by contrast, the opportunity we’re discussing seems to be made for me and I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.a�?
  • “My position was realigned. Both my manager and I realized my job no longer matched my skills or interests.”

Whatever your answer, practice it until you feel comfortable and confident. Keep it simple, because making it too complicated might make you look defensive and may lead to more questions. If you were fired because of poor performance on your part, include a brief description of what you learned. Stick to your planned response, no matter how many people interview you.

Throughout the interview process, be sure to maintain a positive attitude. Regardless of the circumstances of your termination, it probably was a painful event, but you need to leave the frustration and blame at home. When asked why you were fired, answer the question, and then move on. Keep the focus of the conversation on your experience and skills and how you can contribute in the position at the new organization.

Not all potential new employers will check references, but if they do, make sure what you say will be in line with any information they may hear from other sources. You can also use your references to your advantage. It may help to get a colleague or former manager to provide a statement that explains your situation in a positive way.

As you go through the job search, remember, you arena��t the only person in the world who has ever been fired. Be persistent, and with time, you will find a job again. Who knows – maybe it will be better than the job you had, and your firing will have been a blessing in disguise!

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