Facebook? 4 reasons to close your account today


(MoneyWatch) There have been cases where Facebook has fast-tracked a career.  But I've heard plenty of stories of Facebook sabotaging someone's chance of success. Here are four good reasons to put your Facebook hobby on hold for your job.

You're addicted

If you can't stay off Facebook during work hours, that's an easy tell that it's affecting your job. "Companies need to know that they have your undivided attention. If you are constantly on Facebook, which is easy to determine simply by paying attention to frequency and volume, then a company may have reason to be concerned about how you spend your time at work," says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide."  If you're "liking" a co-worker's new baby photo between 9 and 5, your boss might see that and not "like" it very much at all.

You hate your boss and vent online

This one seems so obvious, but people still do it. "It's baffling, but millions of employees across America assume their boss doesn't use Facebook. Vent your frustrations about your 'idiot boss' or the 'crazy CEO' and guess what? They'll find out," says Phil Cooke, media consultant and author of "One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born To Do."

You're not great at keeping secrets

Whether you're interviewing for a new job, or work for a company that requires a lot of discretion, you probably know if using Facebook is a risky move for you. "Demonstrating good judgment and hiding skeletons may make the difference between an offer, a promotion, or just being sidelined," says Cohen.

You're trying to re-build your brand

If you're attempting to reinvent yourself, you'll speed up that process by taking yourself offline as much as possible, and putting a better image out in its place. Part of that is social media. "The time away gives people time to forget, and maybe see, as you return to social media, that the manner in which you managed your social media brand is noticeably different upon your return," says John Haynes III, a Washington, D.C.-based management consultant. This goes hand in hand with a "real life" reputation transformation.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.