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the rebelist

Are You SFW?

by Lisa Kaye


Lisa Kaye

When you think about your job and how you show up each day for work, do you consider yourself SFW? For those of you who are not familiar with the abbreviation, SFW stands for “Safe For Work.” It’s an ever-changing world out there. What once was norm, (take the staff in “Mad Men” for example), drinking, smoking and having sex in the office was probably not condoned but it certainly was encouraged. It’s indeed a different time and a different place. With mandatory sexual harassment training, non-violence in the workplace seminars, and adopting “safe” work habits, it’s no wonder more people choose to work from home!

For most of you your job defines how you choose to spend your life. For some, it is something you need to do in order to survive. Your career may take many shapes over the years as you grow, learn and develop new skills and a higher level of experience. One thing does not change however are the expectations of how you need to behave and perform when you physically show up for work. You may have some control over who you work for, what projects you get assigned and how much money you earn. You do not however have much control over the way in which you are expected to act at work.

Examples of work habits that would deem you not-SFW might include:

  1. Inappropriate pictures, photos or desktop screen savers
  2. Twitting for the sake of twitting
  3. Binge watching ANYTHING
  4. Surfing the net
  5. Online shopping or auctions on eBay
  6. Video games
  7. Habitual posts and friending folks on Facebook
  8. Checking out who viewed your LinkedIn profile
  9. Overuse of bitly
  10. Fantasy-anything

Showing up for work does not mean you are about to do a life-sentence. You are expected to be engaged even if the mood or the work does not particularly suit you. Knowing what you can and can’t get away with at work will help you know your limits and boundaries. Some workplaces have a more relaxed approach to being able to do any of those things listed above. Others have strict firewalls that will alert the IT department if you are meandering in a restricted area when you should be working.

It’s not that you wanted to work for Big Brother but today companies are expected not only to protect their employees but also the company’s bottom line when it comes to work productivity and accountability. If you are tired of being held to a different standard and feel that your work environment is too restrictive for your creative soul then maybe it’s time to find a way to work from home or find another career that affords you more flexibility. No one wants to feel trapped or tied to a desk but knowing what is expected of you will help you define what work environment is right for you. Knowing how to be SFW before you say yes to your next job offer might make you love to show up for work each day and not open you up for a legal nightmare if you just can’t seem to follow the rules.

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Lisa has 20 + years in Human Resources, Recruiting, Employee Development and Executive Coaching and offers up her sage advice on how to navigate the fear of your career choices in this job market and learn how to survive and thrive to reach your ultimate career goals.