Social Media Can Hurt You and Your Job Both Today and in the Future

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Fifty years ago this week, Bob Dylan released an album entitled “The Times, They Are A Changin’.”  And boy, did we see a lot of change in the ‘60’s.  This same theme can be used once again today to help explain the explosion of social media and it’s impact on our lives, and our jobs.

Before Facebook, Instagram, and the various photo and video sharing networks, people could make a social mistake and their boss or a search committee would never find out.  But in today’s society, you need to be careful what you say and what you do.  The decisions you make can come back to haunt you.  And an even bigger problem is that once your photo or video is on the web, these photos and videos will be available to the public forever.

The effects Facebook can have on a person’s job was captured this past summer when a successful high school basketball coach was fired from her job for a photo she upload to her Facebook page.  During a family reunion in July, the coach had a picture taken with her fiancé at a lake.  According to ABC News, the photo showed “the fiancé grabbing her chest”.  In most people’s eyes the picture was relatively benign, but to the school district administration, it was cause for termination.  She had the picture uploaded on Facebook for two days before the athletic director suggested that she remove the photo.  The photo was removed and everything was okay, or so it seemed.  In October, the school district’s administration was made aware of the photo, and she was immediately fired.

The coach hired an attorney and appealed the school’s decision.  After two months, a grievance panel concluded that the coach should have her job back.  In years past, a photo like this would have been placed in a photo album somewhere, but in today’s electronic age, a photo like this could cost you your job. 

You can debate if a photo such as this should get you fired or keep you from getting another job in the future.  But the key point is that the photo should never have been uploaded to a social networking site in the first place.  You need to be aware of the potential consequences of your actions and how your decisions can hurt you both in your current position and with your future jobs. “The Times, They Are A Changin’.”  


Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!  


Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at or his newest book Execute for Success at


Be Prepared When The Right Job Opens

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Be prepared when the right job opens up.  Give yourself the book that provides you with the top job search skills and techniques.  It’s a competitive industry, so be prepared!

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This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”

 -Greg McDermott 
  Head Basketball Coach 
  Creighton University


One thought on “Social Media Can Hurt You and Your Job Both Today and in the Future

  1. A good topic for discussion in today’s world of instant communication. The idea to think about “potential” consequences is a worthy one.

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