News flash: the internet isn’t some otherwordly place of no consequence to the “real” world. What happens on the internet does NOT stay on the internet, it will follow you around.
42% of students are becoming concerned that some of those embarrassing party photos and oversharing late night blog posts could harm their job prospects, a study by YouGov for the Information Commissioner’s Office has found.
After all, the curious animal that is us humans has taken to googling like fish to water, so there’s no reason to think your new employer will do a bit of that too. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, job hunting isn’t the equally opportunity event we’re led to believe it is. Think about it: once a potential employee has been seen with their behind hanging out in some foggy bachelor party shot, it’s impossible to forget.
Acas, the arbitration service, recently issued a new guide to employers, telling them to go easy on employers caught mouthing off on the internet. In a guide that for some reason took nine months to complete (time flies when you’re lolling away online, doesn’t it), Acas concluded that employers should be careful about sacking people just for whining a bit on Facebook after coming back from holiday, which is what happened to one Argos employee.
“A manager wouldn’t follow an employee down the pub to check on what he or she said to friends about their day at work. Just because they can do something like this online, doesn’t mean they should,” Acas chief executive John Taylor said to The Daily Telegraph. He did however add that employees need to be cautious about the information they publish on the internet: “Online conduct should not differ from offline conduct.”