Should you send a friend request to your boss? An expert weighs in

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 27 Jul 2017

Business networking websites such as LinkedIn should not be as big of a problem when it comes to interacting with your boss or colleague on social media, says one career adviser.

Should I send my boss a friend request? Can I comment on his new Instagram post? Or follow her on Twitter? The answer: It depends on the industry you're in, says career consultant Svenja Hofert. 

"There are notable differences, depending on whether hierarchical thinking is still prevalent or has largely disappeared," according to Hofert, who is based in the northern German city of Hamburg.

In the case of the latter, "friending" your boss generally shouldn't be a problem. If you're working for a conservative employer, however, this may be regarded as inappropriate.

Newly hired employees in particular may need to be cautious when networking within a new company. Which social media platform you opt for can also play a role - Instagram has a different set of rules compared with Xing or Linkedin, for instance.

"Pure business networking websites aren't usually much of an issue," advises Hofert. "Once it gets more private, you may want to proceed with caution."

It's often easy to tell which social media profiles your boss or co-worker intend to keep private. The types of posts and the number of followers or friends, for example, are good indicators. — dpa

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