Can your Smart Phone do this?

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August 23, 2011
smart phonesHave you said those words recently?  I know I have!  Whether its sharing an app that tracks my exercise for the week or discussing the new CareerBuilder app which gives Indianapolis employers and recruiters a chance to review resumes on their smart phones, we are all talking about our smart phones.  It seems that every company is coming out with an app for something!  With the new technology it seems that we can’t do anything without our smart phone in our hand…let’s face it according to this survey taken by Career-Builder, we are using our phones everywhere…and I do mean everywhere! 

The beauty of the smart phone is that most of us can stay connected and take care of any issues that arise at any time without actually being in the office.  But what happens when we are in the office?  If you are like most, you are not only getting your work email on your phone but also your personal email, Facebook and LinkedIn updates, Tweets and text messages from friends and family that don’t talk to you much any more because of the hustle and bustle of daily life.  So the question arises, how do we resist the urge to look on our smart phone at that hilarious status update your best friend just posted on Facebook while sitting in a boring meeting with your boss and co-workers?  Or maybe CareerBuilder just sent you a notice about a new job in Indianapolis that got posted today that is just the job you have been looking for?  No one will know what you are looking at, right??  The truth is they may not know for sure but once doubt is created it’s very difficult to overcome!  The last thing you want is your boss to think you are playing on Facebook or looking for a new job on your smart phone…especially if they are footing the bill (partially or completely).  So while smart phones may make it easier to find a job than ever before, follow these tips to make sure your smart phone doesn’t land you in the unemployment line!   

  • Keep your phone in your desk drawer, purse or pants pocket to avoid the temptation to pick it up and play with it.  Chances are once you pick it up and start one thing, you will be on it for 15 minutes without even blinking an eye!  Trust me, I’ve done that one before!
  • Let’s face it – life happens and sometimes you have sick kids (or parents) to worry about so if you are expecting an important call or text message give your boss a heads up.  They will appreciate your honesty and this should eliminate any doubt that might be created if they catch you on your phone (talking or texting) during work hours. Just don’t take advantage of this tactic.
  • Use your lunch hour to catch up on your smart phone via social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and text your family/friends back about where to have dinner that night at that time.  The wonderful thing about smart phones is you can use them anywhere, so while you are waiting in line for your lunch or munching down by yourself you can get your daily mental check out without being tied to your computer. Just don’t slow down the drive through lines at the local fast food restaurant so you can finish a call!
  • Take direction from upper management and follow cell phone usage policies put in place by your employer.  Most policies are outdated and still only include personal calls but with smart phones the policy could include anything from checking personal email, looking at Twitter updates or even checking out for a new job in Indianapolis!  If you aren’t sure about the policy then ask HR or management before picking up your phone the next time the green light is flashing with an update you just ‘have’ to know about.
  • Last but not least… if it is brought to your attention that you are using your smart phone to an extent that your employer is not happy or comfortable with, correct it immediately!  The worst thing you can do is to become defensive.  Employers will doubt your sincerity about correcting the excessive smart phone usage if you don’t own up to your mistake and promise to take corrective action immediately. 

Don’t let your smart phone make you look stupid…use common sense and while at work, make sure you are working. Your long and successful career will thank you.