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Separating The Personal From The Career

Separating The Personal From The Career

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My off work personality is different from my work one. The work personality is more reserved and quiet revealing only a portion of my entire personality thatís needed to support and advance my career. In spite of this, what do you do when you receive a ďFriendĒ request from someone you work with?

Separating The Personal From The Career

When You Are Not At WorkPart of our career is social networking but how personal should social be with co-workers and bosses? Do you really want to see MySpace pictures of your boss drunk? A lot of people use social networking communities such as Live Journal or Facebook to rant about work issues. Photo albums may contain not so reserved weekend adventures and your friendís list shows your friends in definitely not at work photo ops.

With the social networking ever present and being used not only for personal uses but for marketing strategies how and where does a person draw a line between business and personal?

Approving a person's request to be friends online grants them access to everything you have written including your rant about what you thought was a stupid office decision. You could create custom lists but thatís time consuming and what happens if you forget to choose that group? Than again, declining a "Friend" request from a co-worker or a boss could be taken as an offense creating a cynical work relationship and suspend any advancement in your present position.


I believe the best solution is to have two separate profiles. One that is personal and one that is career oriented. This may sound like a lot of work but by employing two separate profiles you can keep your personal life personal with work related rants while building strength to your career through the other one.

You keep the two profiles separate by choosing a personal screen name that you do not reveal inside the work world. If by chance your discovered by a co-worker or your boss that wants to friend you simply go to your career profile and request a friend approval from your career profile providing any number of reasons for the switch.

  • I like to keep my work and personal life separate
  • I donít use that profile very often except to check mail.
  • I use the profile only for family / school communications

A career profile with your actual name can be the something extra that gets you hired at a potentially prestigious company. While their use is still largely limited to socializing, they provide an open and upfront ďAbout MeĒ source to be found when a boss, co-worker or a prospective employer does an internet search for your name. Keep in mind that the name listed in your account settings is searchable. So if you use your real name for your personal work ranting weekend adventure profile, it will also come up in a search.

Put social networking sites to work

Donít create a plain white profile with an obvious suit & tie career default picture. This is your ďTell me about yourselfĒ profile. Itís your moment to boast about your career. Having a career profile on places such as MySpace is great for finding contacts in companies you might not otherwise have access to. MySpace is a place for friends who network job openings and potential business collaboration. You can use the blog section to write what you know demonstrating your skills and experience.

Social Networking Suggestions

Advertise Your Value: Use your career profile to your advantage. Post insightful comments on the industry your interested in. Write opinions on new trends forming or any communicative ideas that you see as an advantage to the industry or in a career setting.

Pictures: Post pictures of your interests and hobbies that make you unique or directly relate to your career. Upload photos of you windsurfing, volunteering or networking. Anything that shows skills with a digital camera, team work spirit or communication is always a plus. Donít post offensive opinions or comments.

Stay In Touch: Find like-minded people in your career. Stay in touch with former co-workers whom you got along with. Look up those you graduated with and network.

Different Websites: Designate two different social networking websites for two very different purposes. Example. Your MySpace profile is be for personal life only socializing. Linkin profile can be dedicated to your career and work life.

Respond To Postings: Make a note of changes in friendís profiles. If one of your friends received some good news congratulate them in comments. Is there a problem one of your friend is having? If you have a reasonable suggestion that could help, post the comment. Not only will the friend see it but so will everyone else who reads it. This will show you have thinking skills and like to solve problems.

Personal Profile - Set Your Profile To Private: Consider your profile open to anyone, including prospective employers. If your site is for friends only then allow access only to those who know your email address or screen name.

Personal Profile - Blog Anonymously. If you are writing on controversial topics or ranting about something that happened at work do so anonymously. A prospective employer is not likely to hire a person who publicly criticizes another employer.

Social networking websites can be powerful professional allies in business. Each new friend approval is a significant career resource and building block. The more friends you have the better odds are for resourceful connections. Approving a co-worker or a boss request to be friends in your career profile shares more of you with that person while being able to maintain the wall between your work and personal life.


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