Clearing the Way

A major university held a seminar recently that had a panel of human resource (HR) officers who hired teachers for school districts.  There were several HR officers on the panel who represented different districts within a large metropolitan area.  Nearly all of them said they check various social media sources to see what their prospective teachers are posting, what their friends are writing about, what pictures are being posted–in general, what type of person they are and who they like to be with.  if this is true for teachers, it is true for a teenager who is applying to work at a fast-food restaurant chain as well.

It has been in the news that an event that happened when the person was 18 years old, has come back to haunt them for the job of a lifetime when they are in their fifties.  Now if you’re thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen, we don’t think about this so much, unless an adult has sat with them and discussed how important it is to their future.  As we get older, some of the poor decisions we made earlier can be a factor as we try to move on to careers and promotions.

Take some time to sit with your teen, or even yourself, and try to Clear the Way by looking at these insights.

  1. Pick two of your favorite social media sites and review the postings your friends have made.
  2. Read them as if you are a prospective employer.
  3. Would you approve of the postings?
  4. Would you hire this person based on what you see?
  5. Are there areas that need to be cleaned up?

As society moves to be more inclusive of the various lifestyle choices people can make, it may appear that the door is wide open for anything that you wish to pursue.  As you read through your favorite social media sites, do so with an eye toward showing the very best of yourself and your friends.  Think that someone who is in a position to hire you for the job that you really want would like to see the very best of you.  Do your postings, and those of your friends display that level of character?   It is good to clear the way now, rather than wait until it is too late.

Yours for better parenting,

Rich