For Women Only Your Computer Usage Could Cost You Your Job

For Women Only: Your Computer Usage Could Cost You Your Job
Few would argue that,​ despite the​ advancements of​ feminism over the​ past three decades,​ women still face a​ double standard when it​ comes to​ their behavior .​
While men's borderline-inappropriate behavior is​ often laughed off as​ boys will be boys,​ women face higher conduct standards - especially in​ the​ workplace .​
That's why it's crucial that,​ as​ women,​ our behavior on​ the​ job is​ beyond reproach.
Small Towns and Big States
For evidence of​ the​ double standard,​ we​ need look no farther than Arlington,​ Oregon,​ where Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist was recalled in​ a​ 142-139 vote after the​ town's denizens discovered that the​ mayor's MySpace page featured photos of​ her in​ lingerie .​
Although Kontur-Gronquist is​ alleging election fraud and challenging the​ returns,​ and even though the​ mayoral position was unpaid,​ no one is​ arguing that her MySpace page did her in​ .​
Contrast her situation with that of​ David Paterson,​ New York's new governor .​
After Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned amid allegations of​ engaging the​ services of​ a​ prostitute,​ Paterson was sworn in​ and admitted that he had engaged in​ extramarital affairs and that he had experimented with both cocaine and marijuana while he was in​ his twenties .​
It seems odd that the​ mayor of​ a​ small town in​ Oregon is​ being held to​ a​ higher standard than the​ governor of​ New York .​
With Computers,​ Private Can Go Public
The moral (so to​ speak) of​ the​ story is​ that,​ as​ women,​ our behavior must be impeccable - both on​ and off the​ job .​
Yes,​ we​ can have private lives,​ but we​ unwittingly make those private lives public when we​ boot up a​ computer,​ use email,​ or​ go online .​
To protect yourself in​ the​ workplace,​ the​ first rule of​ thumb is​ never to​ conduct personal business using your employer's equipment .​
You have no right to​ privacy,​ and your employer can have total access to​ your record of​ computer usage,​ your Internet history,​ and your email .​
Resist the​ temptation to​ shop online,​ check the​ news,​ or​ surf the​ Internet while you're at​ work .​
Don't forward that joke or​ motivational email to​ your colleagues .​
And don't email your friends or​ family members .​
The second thing to​ keep in​ mind is​ that the​ niche of​ the​ Internet you've carved out for yourself using your home computer is​ also visible to​ your employer .​
Increasingly,​ potential employers use tools to​ screen job candidates' presence on​ the​ Internet .​
That hysterical YouTube video of​ you dancing with a​ lampshade on​ your head at​ your best friend's bridal shower may prevent you from landing the​ job of​ your dreams .​
Before making a​ bold rant on​ your blog or​ uploading a​ questionable picture to​ a​ social networking site,​ think about the​ impact it​ might have on​ your career.
Final Thoughts
There's no arguing that computers enrich our lives and provide us with options our mothers never dreamed of .​
As women,​ though,​ computers can also be our downfall at​ work .​
It may be acceptable for men to​ check out the​ Sports Illustrated website while they're at​ work (even the​ swimsuit edition!),​ but women are held to​ a​ higher standard.. .​
Just ask Carmen Kontur-Gronquist.

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