When you start a new job, should you become Facebook friends with your new colleagues? There’s always the risk that something seen on social media can lower someone’s professional opinion of you. But making those connections could be helpful to your career. So here are some guidelines of friending colleagues online.
Don’t: Friend above your pay-grade - This means your boss and their bosses. You want them to respect you professionally so you can advance in your career, explains financial adviser Winnie Sun, but that might be hard to do when they see photos of you in a bathing suit.
Do: Use this ‘Meal Test’ for help - Different social networks have different levels of intimacy. With LinkedIn and Twitter, you can introduce yourself and share industry news. But Facebook and Instagram are more personal, where you share information about your life, like you were going out to lunch together, Sun says. And she says Snapchat is like meeting up for happy hour. So if you’re close enough to grab drinks or a meal, feel free to connect on those sites.
Don’t: Friend request people in your first day at work - Wait until you’ve at least had a conversation with these people before trying to connect online. Personal branding expert and author of “The Etiquette of Social Media” Leonard Kim advises waiting at least a month or two.
Do: Test the waters with LinkedIn - If someone accepts your request on LinkedIn, it opens the door for more social media connections later.
Do: Look at your content - Evaluate your posts and decide if you’re really comfortable with your coworkers seeing what you post. But you probably don’t want your professional peers seeing any provocative pics or statuses where you put people down.