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Workplace boundaries have never been more blurred ever since we started connecting with our colleagues online. Around 70% of workers the-office-happy-hourare online friends with fellow employees and even the boss. But experts warn that sharing too information  online, or in person, can kill an employee’s dreams of a promotion and even earn an individual a pink slip. Here are some tips anyone can use to connect with co-workers while still keeping one’s professional credentials:

 * Being Facebook friends with a boss doesn’t make you best buddies – so keep your profile work-friendly. It’s natural to feel close to a boss when you see personal photos and status updates. But that doesn’t mean an employee should express his/her “wild side” online. A photo of swilling beer doesn’t help one’s professional image – and the boss may wonder if you’re coming into work hung-over. Keep one’s personal life undercover by adjusting the page’s privacy settings so that certain posts and pictures are off-limits to co-workers.

 * Never swap soap opera stories with the boss. Even if the boss spills about the wild bachelor party he just attended, that’s not an invite for employees to spill their outrageous stories. Here’s a good rule of thumb: tell half as many personal stories as your boss. If they get personal twice a week, you get personal once a week. And never share anything that belongs on a reality show.

 * Beware of office happy hour. Sure, you’re physically out of the office, so it feels like you’re hanging with your friends not your co-workers. But mentally you should stay in office mode! That’s because anything someone says can be used against them! For instance, an employee who says that he/she secretly hates his/her job could easily get back to the boss. An employee should be sure to say only what the individual would feel comfortable saying in front of the CEO.

Source: John Tesh: Intelligence for Your Life  — www.tesh.com

This article appears in the April 2013 issue of Employee Assistance Report. For a free trial, go to the “Employee Assistance Professionals” tab at:    www.impact-publications.com