Single Mom Fired Before Her First Day Because Of Facebook Post

It's a total nightmare scenario: getting fired for making a mistake on social media. There are countless stories of people whose careers were all but ruined because of a seemingly small lapse in judgement.

This week, a young woman from Texas became yet another cautionary tale. Kaitlyn Walls, 27, a single mother living in a suburb of Dallas, was fired before she even started her new job at a local day care because of a negative post she shared on Facebook:

“I start my new job today, but I absolutely hate working at day cares.” 

Then she took it one step further:

“LOL, it’s all good, I just really hate being around a lot of kids.”

Someone shared the post with her new employer, who called Walls and rescinded the job offer.

“It really was a big mistake,” she told CBS News DFW. “I don’t hate children. I have my own… I love her.”

While certain types of Facebook posts are protected by law according to the National Labor Relations Board, for the most part, individuals can't complain about their bad bosses online without risking backlash. 

Lauren McGoodwin, founder and CEO of Career Contessa, recommends you avoid complaining about work on social media altogether. 

"Venting online isn't a great idea because it can't be taken back and it's very public," she told Refinery29 via email. Even if you do have privacy settings on, "you just don't have a lot of control of your venting session, and it can be quickly taken out of context" if a friend shares your post. 

McGoodwin also points out that with a Facebook post, you're inviting people to comment. Walls experienced this firsthand, when she received a barrage of ugly comments to her initial post, with people going so far as calling her a "dumb bitch," and saying that she has "bubonic plague." Walls told the CBS news reporter the negative responses left her in tears.

"I actually cried. It really hurt because I wasn’t trying to offend anybody."

So what do you do if you get called out for a negative tweet or post? "If you do get caught being negative about work, I suggest you owning it and apologizing. Don't get defensive, and don't react with a lot of emotion," McGoodwin says. "Give yourself a cool-down period. If you really think your boss was out of line, then have a conversation later about it."

While some people might argue that you shouldn't have to censor yourself on social media, McGoodwin disagrees: "You can be interesting on social media without complaining! There are so many ways to share about stuff you're passionate about without complaining. Violence [and] negativity...have never been known to be the answers."

More Career Advice
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