How to avoid becoming your own worst career roadblock

“My job sucks!”

“I hate my boss!”

“This company’s hiring policy blows!”

These are common descriptions used to define individual perceptions of workplace environments. When they’re used in casual dialogue with a small group of friends, these words might ignite a conversation. When posted on social media, they might become a nightmare for someone seeking career opportunities.

A company looking for an indispensable team member seeks certain qualities. Enthusiasm, determination, reliability, and creativity are the traits of someone who could potentially create value for a company and its customers. A person who is less likely to be a valuable team member will often create excuses why something can’t be completed, complain frequently, and relay the latest office gossip. When a company does its due diligence in reviewing an applicant’s background, it may include a social media review. If that review uncovers comments similar to those at the beginning of this article, it flags an applicant as a potential problem employee.

Businesses have enough a challenge remaining ahead of the competition without internal complications. They don’t want to add to their challenges by hiring someone who could negatively impact work performance or tarnish the brand image.

If you’re someone who seeks career advancement opportunities, don’t inadvertently shred your resume before you submit it. Refrain from airing any dirty laundry about your present or previous employers in a venue where a future employer can see it. This includes social media, blogs, podcasts, videos, or other searchable media. If you must vent derogatory employment-related comments to an audience, limit them to private, unrecorded conversations with close friends and relatives.

Some applicants might say, “employers shouldn’t be looking at my social media accounts. They’re private and don’t reflect my work performance.” This is entirely untrue.

A person’s thought processes don’t stop at the threshold of a company’s front door. If someone is aggressively confrontational, controversial, or frequently complains on social media, then it’s possible those same thought processes will carry into the workplace.

Before going on a first date, some individuals choose to review their date’s social media accounts to learn more about the person and his or her potential as a good match. Some employers do the same thing and will choose to focus their hiring efforts on people who would make a good match.

With a little effort, you can be the best match.

Your greatest career advancement opportunities will come from maintaining a positive attitude and can-do spirit. Always be your best self and show a potential employer exactly how you will represent the brand, even on social media.