We’ve said a few times that it's important to be careful about what you put on your personal social media sites when job hunting but now someone has taken it a step further. An employee of HMV, the high street music store which recently announced its closure, took to the company’s Twitter account to tell the world precisely what was happening. 60 employees, it turned out, were being fired at once.
The tweets (which have now been removed) talked about “mass execution of loyal employees who love the brand” and another said “under contract we’ve been unable to say a word, or – more importantly – tell the truth”. The final tweet said: “So really, what have we to lose? It’s been a pleasure folks! Best wishes to you all!”
It might seem like a good idea at the time, and pretty amusing too. But what this employee has failed to think about is their future. Their job at HMV might be coming to an end (well, it probably ended pretty soon after those tweets were sent) but they really should have thought about the consequences of their actions.
Admittedly, it’s not known (at the moment) who sent those tweets, but I would imagine HMV bosses will find out pretty quickly and, when they do, it could go quite badly. You can imagine that that employee won’t be receiving a nice reference from the HMV bosses. And once the public find out who was responsible (as I’m sure they will eventually) that person will probably find it hard to get another job – particularly if that new job would involve them being let loose on social networking under the company’s name. Even if they’re not interested in going into a social media job, they’ve proved themselves to be untrustworthy, no matter how justified their anger.
So how do you end a relationship with an employer in a way that’s not going to turn sour?
• Don’t post about how awful your old job was all over social media – even if you really hated it. We all have to do jobs we really don’t like at some point in our lives. It’s one of those rubbish facts of life. But even if you really hated the job, your boss was a bully and your colleagues were horrible, don’t post about it online. It will only make new employers wonder what you’ll say about them when you leave them.
• Don’t badmouth your employers in public – even if they did engage in practices that you don’t agree with. Accusing them of ‘illegal’ activity (as the HMV tweeter did) isn’t going to go down very well and could land you in legal trouble for publishing defamatory statements about them.
• Focus on the experience and skills you have gained from working with that employer. You can learn something from every job or placement, even the really rubbish ones that you don’t enjoy. So focus on those things that you have picked up from your time working with that company – they could lead you on to bigger and better things.