It’s social media talk all this week on the 2:25am blog. Check it out!
One of my favorite books of all time, The Third Policeman, went unpublished until several years after the author’s death. Of course, this is by no means the only example of something like this happening. There is tons and tons of famous literature that had to be published posthumously because the publishers of the time “didn’t get it.” And on many levels, most levels really, this is a great thing; the world got some incredible books that it might have otherwise missed out on. But there’s a downside; certain egotistical young artists might take these stories to mean that criticism is not something to consider, but is in fact, a sign that they are “ahead of their time.”
A similar thing happens in the professional world. Young professionals hear stories that paint CEOs and business leaders as ruthless perfectionists who don’t take no for an answer and don’t care whose feelings they hurt on their way to world domination, and they think that this is what you have to be like to succeed at any level. For this reason, they feel that it’s not only acceptable to act rude and chew out their coworkers; they think it’s necessary. This notion is bad enough in the office face-to-face. It gets even worse when it manifests itself in email correspondences. It turns outright toxic when leaks out of the workplace and onto social media.
Because here’s the thing, when you trash talk people at work (or work itself) on Facebook, you’re not acting like Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos. You’re more like Bob Dylan from Don’t Look Back, (Have you seem that movie? It’s filled with interesting stuff, but perhaps the most interesting thing is how big of a troll young Bob Dylan was when he was younger.) except for one big difference: you’re not Bob Dylan.
You need to be aware of where you stand in a company. Not many people are indispensable enough to talk trash about their workplace and continue to be in good standing with their coworkers.
But it’s not just about your current job; it’s for your next job too. If you’re unhappy enough with your employer that you’re griping about them on an open forum, then chances are you’re not looking to stay there forever. So how do you plan on getting that next job? By talking all about the great stuff you’ve done at your current job. So, the last thing you want is a potential employer looking you up and seeing a lot of moaning and complaining that calls into question everything you’ve said about your work and, in turn, your value as an employee.
Long story short, just because the professional world is rife with power grabs and jerks passing themselves off as go-getters doesn’t mean you have to join in from your laptop. Leave the venting off Facebook and Twitter and do what you need to do to keep moving forward.