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Do You Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Your employer might be paying more attention to you than you think!

Do You Feel Like You’re Being Watched?

By In Blog On May 12, 2014


Do you feel like you’re employer is keeping tabs on your private life?  If so, do you think the benefit (for the company) outweighs the invasion of privacy (for the employees)?  Does the possibility of your employer listening in on your social media activities impact your behavior away from the job?  Should what you do outside of work matter if you produce while there?  Would knowledge of a company’s “monitoring policy” impact your decision to pursue a job with them?

According a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, employee monitoring and the results thereof are becoming more widespread:

“Consider a 2013 survey from CareerBuilder, which helps corporations target and attract workers. According to the survey, 39% of employers dig into candidates on social sites, while 43% said they had found something that made them deep-six a candidate—such as posting inappropriate photos or information, or bad-mouthing a former boss.

On the flip side, 19% said they found information that sold them on a candidate, such as communication skills or a professional image.”

I don’t like the idea of an employer digging into my private life if I’m doing my job well and producing, even though my non-professional life is pretty boring.  Secondarily, it seems wasteful and perhaps counter-productive for a company to hire staff and build an infrastructure specifically to monitor the outside-of-work personal behavior of its employees.

I tend to think this type of monitoring will end up causing resentment among both employees and potential employees, ultimately hurting the bottom line instead of helping.  It seems likely that the percentage of people who might harm their employer in some way through their Tweeting, Facebook posts or otherwise in social media would be a small fraction of the overall employee base, but to monitor effectively companies would have to listen in on everyone – just like the NSA (and we love that).

The larger question: Where does your professional life end and private life begin? Is it reasonable that employers are trying to further blur the division (as if technology doesn’t already)?  Are you willing to censor yourself?  Do you want to second-guess your actions every time you post a holiday photo for your friends on Facebook?

Who you work for, or with, is your choice.  One of the great challenges of any job seeker or employee is balancing the impact of their work on their personal or private lives away from work.  Is sacrificing more of your life worth it in order to get the job?  You decide.

Oh, and don’t forget to buy my book so you can learn how to get the job in the first place!

(Photo: Backyard Dragon, Savannah, GA 2014)

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