Don’t let holiday festivities damage your online reputation. The company Christmas party is a fun time to let go and relax with colleagues, but remember you’re still on the job and many people will be evaluating your behavior. Morning after embarrassment for things you’ve done in person may be fleeting, but once there’s online evidence it will be almost impossible to erase from the internet and fall-out may follow you to your next job and beyond. Compromising video or images taken out of context can leave you struggling to re-establish a professional reputation. At ReputationDefender we help our clients remove their name from negative content, but it's much easier to prevent these posts from appearing in the first place.
Here are three simple guidelines for avoiding holiday regrets:
- Don’t Drink and Post - We’re all aware of the dangers that come with driving under the influence, but it might be less obvious that posting on the internet while intoxicated can be hazardous for your online reputation. Just a few drinks can make a tasteless post seem funny or increase the chances that you’ll share confidential information about someone at work. Increasingly, employers are turning to social media to evaluate an employee’s personality and temperament. Immature posts that share gossip about other employees will not create a good impression next time you apply for a job. Even if you erase the post the next morning, you may find that friends have copied or shared it and once it appears elsewhere on the internet, it will be hard to remove. Avoid posting about a party until the morning after when the effects of alcohol have worn off. Make sure your account settings automatically post pictures to “friends only”, so you’re not accidentally sharing compromising images publically.
- Set Yourself Limits – With the internet a factor, what happens at the office Christmas party won’t necessarily stay there, so don’t get caught doing something you’ll regret later. It’s okay to unwind to a certain degree, but with an open bar it’s easy to overdo it and end up crossing the line for acceptable conduct. You may be able to control what you post, but no one can say the same for friends and colleagues. Avoid waking up the next morning to online images and videos of incidents you don’t remember. Set yourself a two or three drink limit, depending on your tolerance level and don’t cross it.
- Ask Family Not to Post Pictures of You - Family gatherings can also create a problem. Your well-meaning aunt may not realize the difference between public and private posts and before you know it, that picture of you goofing around with your cousin will be pulled up by an employer researching your resume. Try to make it clear to family members that you really don’t want images or videos posted online without your consent. They may think you’re a bit of a Scrooge, but it’s better than ruining a successful career with misguided sharing.
Compromising posts can happen at any time of the year, but holiday parties pose an especial risk. Take precautions ahead of time to prevent reputational damage. You’ll find the holidays are that much more enjoyable when you don’t have to regret the festivities later.
You might also like to read our latest on keeping yourself safe over the festive period;