Instagraming Your Paycheck? The Right and Wrong Ways to Vent About Work

We’ve all come home from a long day at work where just about everything went wrong and needed to blow off some steam about an annoying colleague or unbearable work conditions.

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But there’s a right and wrong way for venting workplace frustrations, as one salesman at LaCoste’s flagship store in New York City reportedly learned this week.

The employee posted a photo of his paycheck to his Instagram account to show how little he believed he made in comparison to how hard he worked. The worker was then fired for posting the image, daily news blog Gothamist reports.

Although blasting your company or coworkers with the touch of a screen on social media can feel like a stress reliever, it can be detrimental to your personal brand and hurt future hiring prospects, warns Kathy Caprino, career coach.

“This was absolutely the wrong way to communicate,” says Caprino. “Think about if you had a company, who would you want working for you? People who will help, or hurt your company?”

Aside from the obvious of thinking before you act--or in this case snap and post--Caprino says frustrated workers should consider what they hope to achieve by taking certain actions.

Here Caprino’s dos and don’ts for expressing frustration in the office:

DO: Evaluate what you are being paid, and the work you are putting in. Just like the now-fired LaCoste salesman, Caprino suggest evaluating your pay rate against how hard you work. “Ask yourself: ‘Am I being paid fairly and equitably?’”

If you feel you are underpaid, speak to your supervisor with a reasonable and well-thought-out argument about why you may deserve more.

DON’T: Air your grievances in the workplace. Complaining to those you work with every day doesn’t make you appear to be a team player, says Caprino. Instead, think of what would help you to communicate effectively and how to best resolve any issues.

“It could be a lawyer, human resources or your boss,” she says. “Think if anyone else is facing the same issue, and what you can do to get out of it as a team.”

If you have a solid relationship with your boss or higher-ups, consider having a meeting to talk with them about what you are experiencing.

DON’T: Publicly complain about your company. This makes you appear untrustworthy and immature to potential new employers. “Also don’t share private or confidential information that will hurt your company,” she says.

DO: Find a new job. If your frustrations mount to the point where you feel you cannot continue in the office, then Caprino says it’s up to you to make a move. “Expand your skills and look for a better-paying employer,” she says. “It’s up to you to find a better-paying job.”