Workplace boundaries have never been more blurred, ever since we started connecting with our colleagues online. 70% of us are online friends with fellow employees and even the boss. But experts warn that over sharing online, or in person, can kill your dreams of a promotion and even earn you a pink slip. So, here are tips to connect with your coworkers, while still keeping your professional cred:

  • Being Facebook friends with your boss doesn’t make you best buddies – so keep your profile work-friendly. It’s natural to feel close to your boss when you see their personal photos and status updates. But that doesn’t mean you can express your wild side online. A photo of you playing beer pong doesn’t help your professional image – and your boss may wonder if you’re coming into work hung-over. So, keep your personal life undercover by adjusting your page’s privacy settings so that certain posts and pictures are off-limits to co-workers.
  • Never swap soap opera stories with the boss. Even if your boss spills about the wild bachelor party they just attended, that’s not an invite for you to spill your outrageous stories. Like, you had to file a restraining order against your ex-roommate. Here’s a good rule of thumb: tell half as many personal stories as your boss. If they get personal twice a week, you get personal once a week. And never share anything that belongs on a reality show.
  • Beware of office happy hour. Sure, you’re physically out of the office. So, it feels like you’re hanging with your friends not your coworkers. But mentally you should stay in office mode! Because anything you say can be used against you! Like if you say you secretly hate your job. It could easily get back to the boss. So, make sure you say only what you’d feel comfortable saying in front of the CEO.

Have you ever made an office party faux pas? How did you handle it?

Lesson Expert

Meredith McKenna