The online and “real life” worlds have been increasingly combined, and that’s often not a good thing for people looking to keep a clear divide between professional and personal lives.
When your personal and work worlds collide, it can affect how you are seen at work by colleagues, how your supervisor treats you and the degree of respect others in the workplace have for you.
In the past, keeping work and personal life separate was easy. But now, with the online world literally sitting in everyone’s pocket, the ability for your manager to connect with you and see what you post on social media is all too easy. Furthermore, shooting down a friend request from a supervisor, colleague or client is a tricky proposition, as denying a connection can damage your standing with that particular person.
While it may be impossible to keep your private and professional lives complete separate, there are a few things you can do to minimize the mixing.
Keep ‘work’ connections to trusted colleagues
Some people may think that by connecting with co-workers on social media it can reveal they are personally popular. Unfortunately, this practice can open up the possibility of managers, clients and co-workers seeing what you do outside of work and the kind of people you are associated with.
To avoid exposing those in your professional life to unprofessional or controversial content associated with your social profiles, avoid connecting with colleagues you don’t socialize with extensively outside of work and those you don’t trust 100 percent.
Don’t let others post photos of you or ‘tag’ you
Since we are talking about image here, it’s essential you control your literal image as much as possible. The moment you don’t have control of what pictures of you appear online, you are running the risk of being discredited.
Control how you are seen online by making certain you know what is showing up. Set up Facebook to ask for your permission before a tagged picture can be linked to your profile. Also, setting up a Google Alert can notify you about pictures posted to the web with your name attached to them.
Use an alternative profile name
Although social media sites have measures to ensure a profile is legitimate, that does not mean you can’t use abbreviations, nicknames or variations on the standard first-name-last-name formula. Creating your user profile in this fashion will ensure you have more control of who you are connecting with online. It will also make it more difficult for others to locate your profile.
Respect the importance of professional relationships and power of perception
Professional relationships can be crucial to your success. Because of this, respect the significance of them. Don’t expect others to simply dismiss unprofessional behavior or social media content. Also, don’t expect others to give you the benefit of the doubt as the internet has a way of stripping away context and genuine empathy.
At NSC Technologies, we help job seekers with everything from managing their social media profiles to resume writing. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help your career.