Am I getting old or is it really ok now to trash your employer on social media?

We live in an employment-at-will society.

Here is what it means: 

  • You’re free to leave your employer anytime you want for any reason and you don’t have to explain it,
  • Your employer is free to let you go anytime they want for any reason and they don’t have to explain it,
  • You are free to keep looking for a job even after you signed an offer — and if you get a better offer you are free to switch,
  • Your employer is free to rescind their offer before you start your job in case they found a better candidate or things have changed.

Layoffs and rescinded offers suck for candidates. Good employees who quit sucks for employers.

One thing that is immutable, though, is that you don’t go to LinkedIn to trash your employer — or your employee — if things don’t work out.

Every day I come across someone publicly shaming their former employer on LinkedIn for laying them off or rescinding an offer. They write long-winded hashtag-laden posts, and tag their employers. 

Employers do search candidates on social media — and so should candidates. No one wants to work for a company that trashes its’ former employees and candidates. No one wants to hire a candidate that trashes their former employer.

So my advice, particularly to recent college grads who might not have the life experience needed to grasp what’s at stake, is to not burn bridges before they are even built.