Advice

A solicitor at work has sent me an Instagram follow request

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What should I do?

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one solicitor needs advice on how to handle a colleague’s follow request on social media.

“I am a solicitor at a regional firm who recently received a follow request on Instagram from a colleague (also a solicitor but in another team). We speak quite regularly and have a good, professional working relationship. Here’s my problem: I want to keep my work and private life separate, so accepting the request is not an option. But at the same time, I don’t want things to become awkward. What should I do?”

If you have a career conundrum, email us with it to careers@legalcheek.com.

35 Comments

Anonymous

Have you considered working in a city firm? That way, your work life will become your personal life and you can safely accept the follow request.

Bore Ring

Stop being a bore and accept them. Unless your instagram includes pictures of you doing lines…

Anonymous

Really? Is this any sort of conundrum? If you are really a solicitor then you should be able to say “no” when you do not feel comfortable with something, otherwise whatever the hell you are doing in this profession?

Anonymous

Don’t be on social media

Anonymous

An essential motto for the modern world. 👍

Anonymous

If the co-worker isn’t a tuna melt, they they won’t take it that seriously. Or, set up a work instagram so you can be followed on that.

Anonymous

Report them to the SRA. Immediately.

Anonymous

😂😂😂

Anonymous

If this is a problem for you that you cannot handle for yourself I doubt you have what it takes to make it in the profession.

underdog corporate

does it really require any reasoning? do what you want to. it’s very personal how you feel comfortable to react — if I were you I would say straight as it is.

OR you could either accept and then be able to remove him/her by I was just saying “yes” that day to everyone OR decline/hesitate until he/she would have to awkwardly ask you. OR that is still under mom’s moderation. OR that you simply like keeping uncertainty.

Anonymous

Accept it, and then it’s sexy time. 🍆💦

Anonymous

That’s why lots of lawyers are on social media under a different name. I’ve had plenty of such requests from other lawyers who only find me as I’m on in my real name and don’t care. If I did I’d use a pseudonym

Anonymous

What a twat.

Antoine du Coq

Does this sort of a thing keep you awake at night?
Hmmm. It’s a tricky one. If I were in your situation I would take a shit on his desk, sprinkle it with glitter, post a picture of it on Instagram and then accept his friend request. What have you got to lose?

Anonymous

Legit these replies 😂😂

Xena

Report him to HR for sexual harassment. This is clearly a sexual advance of an unwanted nature.

Let him be a signpost for the rest.

Anonymous

Then let him be sacrificed, preferably by public crucification, to aid prayers that the sisters will rise to the positions to which they are entitled regardless of the merits of their promotion with a chant of “quotas, quotas, and gender percentages”.

Xena

You men have had your time. The sisterhood are calling the shots now.

Anonymous

Ignore it – end of ‘story’.

Anonymous

What should you do? Get a life you insipid snowflake.

Did I forget to give you a “trigger warning”? Oh dear.

KB

These responses!

On a serious note – I also like to keep my private and work lives separate on social media and don’t add anyone from work and have just left a number of requests hanging. Not saying you do anything crazy, but the workplace is always very gossipy in my experience and we’ve all got that friend who will tag us in something not quite PC or photos that we wouldn’t want our boss to see. I think it’s perfectly reasonable in a role like this to protect your (limited) privacy these days. However I will warn you that everyone knows everyone so if there’s something on there that you really want work colleagues to see you’re probably best deleting it before you pop up in a conversation!

Anon

There are threes things you could do:
– confront and tell the solicitor the reason why you declined but that will elicit a reaction (good or bad depends on their professionalism)
– ignore it, I come from a very opinionated Asian background and have ignored a lot of family member requests to follow me on social media platforms so I ignore them and more often than not no one will says anything – it is likely that this solicitor will not say anything – if s/he does just say (a) I don’t use social media that much (risk: you get caught up in a lie (not advisable) (b) tell the truth that you’re not comfortable with mixing professional and personal – this may lead to a little awkwardness at first but ultimately you’re professionals and will act accordingly – and likely will just miss out on becoming actually friends with your colleague.
– decline and hope they forget they requested to follow you.

Social Media Rejection

Whats so interesting about your life, that you feel the need to have an Insta? You an Influencer part time? Or an on the sly follower of men’s underpants posters? Just refuse or ignore it. You dont actually have to accept every request… or are you a social media likes whore who demands a minimum attention quota?

Boil-in-the-bag barrister

Nowhere in the question does it suggest that the person wishing to follow on Instagram is a man or that the question setter is a woman…

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