When Facebook friends become your co-workers

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A new study by Millennial Branding and Identified.com of 4 million profiles uncovers that Gen-Y (ages 18 to 29) is inadvertently using social media profiles as an extension of professional personalities. While 64 percent of Gen-Y workers fail to list their employer on their profiles, they add an average of 16 co-workers each to their “friend” groups.

What’s more, they spend an average of just more than two years at their first jobs, meaning there’s almost a guarantee that their Facebook audiences are full of potential new co-workers.

Here are three tips on how to navigate your Facebook account knowing this:

Set parameters:
Decide if you want to add co-workers and managers on Facebook or not. If you don’t, then start a professional page and block your personal profile from search. This way, your co-workers will only find and friend your professional page.

Filter yourself: Since you may end up with co-worker friends regardless of who you add or not, it’s important to keep in mind that everything you post could become public. Don’t say anything you don’t want a potential future co-worker to see who might turn your remark into office gossip.

Control tagging: In the privacy menu, go to “Timeline and Tagging” and set your settings so that you must approve all tags before they publish on your wall. Also, turn off the setting that allows anyone to post on your wall. By doing this, you have more control over how you’re perceived on Facebook.

- Dan Schawbel is the founder of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research consulting company.
Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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