Fired for a Facebook post before the first day on the job

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Fired for a Facebook post before the first day on the job
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I’ve said it again and again: Be careful what you post on Facebook — or any other social media site — because it might just cost you your job!

Mom’s big social media mistake

There’s a story that went viral a few months ago about a 27-year-old single mom in a Dallas suburb named Kaitlyn Walls who posted the following on her Facebook page: ‘I start my new job today, but I absolutely hate working at day care … Lol, it’s all good, I just really hate being around a lot of kids.’

Oops!

As you might imagine, her would-be daycare employer found out about the post and told her not to show up for her first day of work. Walls says she has also been harassed online by other mothers in her town of nearly 40,000 people called The Colony, Texas.

Read more: How social media can impact your ability to get a loan

Walls quickly regretted her social media snafu. ‘Oh man I made a big mistake,’ she later wrote on Facebook. ‘I’m so sad. I feel like a failure here looking at my daughter crying because I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to find a job because of my own stupidity.’

‘I really needed [this job] really bad,’ she told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. ‘I’m a single mom … trying to get out on my own.’

What do you think? Do you have any sympathy for Walls or do you think she’s getting what she deserves?

New guidelines for passing the social media sniff test

From time to time, you’ll hear a story about a teacher losing his or her job because there’s a picture on Facebook of them partying with a beer or what have you. Some employers have even been known to ask employees for their Facebook logins!

Read more: How your social media score affects your credit score

Then recently, I was talking with a human resources person and they anecdotally told me somebody did not get a job because of an indiscretion they had posted on their Facebook page. What they posted was evidence of a typical thing that somebody out partying on a Saturday night might do.

But here’s the deal: In the past, those memories of youthful indiscretions would blur in a hurry. Your friends wouldn’t rat you out. Unfortunately, though, we rat ourselves out by what we post.

If you have teens or college kids or you are one, hear this and act on it now. Don’t hear me now and believe me later. I don’t want you to learn this in the school of hard knocks when you are Tweeting, Facebooking, Google Plus-ing or whatever the next hot thing is.

Pictures and posts can hurt you. If your parents hear this and you hear this, don’t do the eye roll when they talk to you about it. Listen to me on this!

Read more: 3 online mistakes that are killing your career

Prevention is the best cure

Many people under age 30 are not making it to the interview phase at jobs because employers of all sizes are checking you out on the web.

In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that there are now companies that will scrub your digital footprint for you. They typically start at a whopping $1,000 a month to scrub your digital reputation! It’s like getting a tattoo removed — painful and expensive.

This is a case where prevention is the best cure. Think before you post. Facebook recently adjusted its privacy policies to make sure you’re better informed about how your posts are being shared.

Finally, here’s a great piece of advice: If there’s something about you that is troubling on the Internet, don’t search for it again and again. If you search for something about yourself, it will push it higher up as Google and the other search engines  start to think that info about you is particularly important. So if there’s trouble out there, don’t go searching for it online repeatedly!

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