Career Acceleration Strategies and Skills

Facebook Faux Pas

Facebook Faux Pas

Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. At Win the Job War we’ve posted numerous articles regarding career-limiting usage of social media, but this example is clearly the most extreme. And possibly this is what some people need to finally understand there is absolutely no separation of personal and professional social media, no matter how you have structured your privacy settings. Everything you post on the internet should be viewed through the how-will-this-impact-my-career filter.

In this particular case, I’m not sure that she even had a filter. Dr. Kristen Lindsey allegedly shot an arrow into the back of an orange tabby’s head and posted a proud photo this week on Facebook of herself smiling, as she dangled its limp body by the arrow’s shaft.

Lindsey added a comVet-Kills-Cat-With-Bow-and-Arrowment, “My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s head! Vet of the year award … Gladly accepted.”

Callers rang the phones hot at Washington County’s Animal Clinic, where Lindsey worked, to vent their outrage. Web traffic crashed its website.

Then an animal rescuer said that Lindsey’s prey was probably not a feral cat but the pet of an elderly couple, who called him “Tiger.” He had gone missing on Wednesday, the same day that Lindsey posted the photo of the slain cat.

As the firestorm grew, Lindsey wrote in the comments underneath her post: “no I did not lose my job. Lol. Psshh. Like someone would get rid of me. I’m awesome!”

That prediction was wrong.

The clinic fired Lindsey, covered her name on its marquis with duct tape, and publicly distanced itself from her actions.

“Our goal now is to go on and try to fix our black eye and hope that people are reasonable and understand that those actions don’t anyway portray what we’re for here at Washington Animal Clinic,” said Dr. Bruce Buenger. “We put our heart and soul into this place.”

Lindsey has since removed her controversial post then eventually shut down her Facebook page.

So I doubt that you would ever post something this egregious to social media, in fact I hope that you would never DO something this awful. But hopefully this can serve as a dramatic reminder that everything we post to social media ultimately becomes part of our personal and professional “brand” and impacts how the rest of the world views us.

Dan Rust

Author, speaker and founder of Frontline Learning LLC, a corporate training and consulting company.

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