Balancing Your Professional and Personal Personas Online

Being able to balance your professional and personal personas online has never been harder. Social media can be an extremely valuable tool to help you find and attract new business, but it can also scare people away depending on the type of persona you portray. Keeping each of your online lives separate is especially important if you are currently looking for work. Recruiters and HR managers are constantly monitoring social media accounts of employees or prospected candidates. If you need a prime example of this check out my co-worker’s blog on what happens when you overshare on social media. Meanwhile, let’s go over some Pros and Cons of keeping your personal and your professional profiles linked online:

If you do keep your professional and personal online profiles intertwined:

Pros:

  • You will come off as a real person and it will be easier to make personal connections with people outside of your network.
  • You will only have to update one account for each platform you’re on which saves you time and is less confusing.
  • It will be easier to build up your online presence.

Cons:

  • Every post will need to be work appropriate. No more bathing suit or Sunday Funday photos. Don’t be like this reporter who shared an inappropriate photo on her Instagram account.
  • You obviously won’t be able to complain about work.
  • You will have to monitor your platforms as well as what people are posting about you more frequently. Just because you didn’t post an embarrassing photo from over the weekend doesn’t mean a friend can’t tag you in their photo. I suggest going to your privacy settings on Facebook and clicking on Timeline and Tagging; then make sure you enable the tab that allows you to review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline.

taggingphotos

If you keep your professional and personal online personas separate:

Pros:

  • You will have greater control over what your clients see by only connecting with them through your professional accounts.
  • Having separate accounts will allow your personal life to not interfere with your professional life, and you won’t have to worry about being tagged in an embarrassing photo (unless it’s just really embarrassing and you won’t want anyone, professional or personal, to see it).
  •  You will be able to support your interests and hobbies without having to worry about offending business contacts.

Cons:

  • You will have to be vigilant about posting personal things only on your personal accounts.
  • It will take a lot of work to keep up an active presence on all accounts (because it doesn’t make sense to have an account that is rarely touched).
  • Changing careers could mean you would have to start over on some professional accounts.

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer on whether you should keep your profiles separate. By sticking to the standard social media rules you will be able to avoid any serious issues when mixing both. Have I missed any pros or cons? Let me know in the comments below.