Over the course of the last few years, a time when everyone, including our grandmother, has created a Facebook account, we have often wondered: is it OK to connect with our bosses on the social network juggernaut? Some nod approvingly, while others pull their hair out with disapproval.
Many people cringe at the idea of friending their boss on Facebook. First, it diminishes the work-life balance concept. Second, your boss could very well know personal things about you that you didn’t want anyone at work to know - and vice versa. Third, you don’t want to face any employment reprimands from your online activity.
Although only one-quarter of workers are connected with their superiors on Facebook, half of them concede to doing so in a professional context. Facebook is known to share cat photos and constant updates of your personal life, but it’s also becoming a part of the company’s human resources strategy, too. Whether or not this is a good thing shall be determined later.
Here are four reasons why shouldn’t panic when your boss sends you a friend request on Facebook:
1. Become one with the Corporate Strategy
Maintaining a presence on Facebook is a must for any business or brand. Since many companies realize this, they may want to include you in the construction, connection and update process of establishing a page. One element of this is to befriend your colleagues, including your boss, on Facebook. This shouldn’t be shunned, but rather an opportunity to showcase your value by having a professional social network presence.
2. Offering Opportunities in the Future
Let’s say that your boss, manager or supervisor has quit the company and has taken on another position at a different company. A few months go by and there’s a position open at this new firm. Your ex-boss thinks it’s a great position for you so they hit you up on Facebook and hopefully you have found a new job that pays well. Friending your boss on Facebook may create new opportunities further down the line.
3. Create a Strong Professional Network
Human resource professionals have conceded that one of the factors of hiring someone is their social network of connections. If your network is filled with industry professionals, like your boss, as opposed to degenerates then you have a better chance of attaining the employment opportunity. An executive, manager, founder and other such positions give your professional network credibility.
4. You Get to Know Your Boss
For some, they want to have a strict professional relationship with their colleagues and bosses. However, others are intrigued by what their bosses do in their personal time. By connecting through Facebook, you may discover intimate details of their private lives, and you could actually share some of the same interests, such as skiing, fishing, classical music or baseball. Again, this builds on your current relationship with your boss.
Before Facebook launches it’s Facebook At Work application - a network similar to LinkedIn - the main social media outlet still being utilized as a professional tool. Indeed, there is still a group of people that post photos of themselves drunk, but many are quickly realizing it’s a superb feature for one’s career. This is why you should add your boss.
Besides, unless you hold controversial political views like Marxism or you post racist diatribes on a daily basis, then you really should have no qualm about your boss holding a spot in your network.