Thursday, July 22, 2010

On And Off The Pitch

On And Off The Pitch: 
Watch what you do

We talk a lot about how to conduct yourself when showing up to the fields, during the game, at tournaments, on travel or when you see teams/coaches away from the fields.  We talk about these things because our competency as a referee is being scrutinized from the first moment teams and coaches see us and, therefore, the impression we give is vital to our success. 

This concept is true even when at home.

A quick Google search will lead you to thousands of stories of employees being punished for content on popular social-networking websites.  Many will argue that it’s unfair for them to be held accountable for things that, perhaps, weren’t posted with their permission.  Or, they say, what they do on their own time has no bearing on their performance at work.   These are valid points but it all comes down to one issue:


We of course have the right to have fun away from refereeing.  Clearly no one can say that because you referee soccer you can’t have a night out on the town.  But remember that regardless of whether you feel it is fair or not, information posted on social networking sites often is out on the public domain for all to see.  People (coaches, players, administrators, assignors, fellow referees) will most certainly come across this information and make assumptions about you based on what they see.

I always tell people to assume that whatever you post on a social networking site is public domain, that everyone you know will eventually see it.  Adjust your privacy settings to ensure that you limit what can be seen by other people.  And finally, use common sense when you post things.  Not only can it impact your refereeing career; but it can also have negative effect on your normal career as many employers scan social networking sites as part of their hiring screening. 

Ultimately no one can tell you not to post things on your website.  Free speech is a wonderful right we enjoy, just don’t have it come back to haunt you.  Just be smart!

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