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Balancing Work and Personal Posts

Using social media to build your career involves a delicate balancing act between work and personal commentary. Social media, by its very nature, welcomes authentic individuals and rejects those who attempt to use it as a one-way advertising space. The more people relate to your posts, the more you will be liked and followed. In fact, social media peers expect you to offer glimpses into your personal life.

This makes it difficult to post purely work-related content. To complicate matters, experts advise you to minimize the personal information you contribute to your business network. So how do you respect social media etiquette and achieve the perfect balance between business and personal contributions? The following tips will keep you on track.

1. Use Separate Channels

The easiest way to avoid accidental posting of personal information to your business network is to use separate channels for each purpose. For example, you might use Facebook to connect with friends and family and LinkedIn to build your business network. Taking this idea one step further, it’s also good practice to use separate devices (phones and computers) for your business and personal social media activities.

2. Stay on Topic

Whenever you post to social media in “business mode”, remember to stay on topic. Keep posts focused on your area of expertise. Monitor conversations, reining them in should they wander off topic. When you do decide to offer personal contributions, refrain from stating controversial opinions. Instead, offer light-hearted comments, uplifting thoughts or amusing insights into your personal life.

3. Keep a Schedule

Resist the urge to constantly update your status all day, every day. When it comes to business, limit your activity to business hours, posting at set times each workday. For example, you might post once at 10am and again at 2pm. When updating your personal channels, never post during business hours, and vice versa. Sticking to such a schedule reduces the temptation to update your business contacts with details of your after-hours activities.

4. Create Some Rules

Companies have Corporate Policies to govern social media activities, so why shouldn’t you? This is especially true if you are using social media for business, to look for jobs or as a career building tool. The following is a set of basic rules you might like to make your own:


 

  • Never make jokes containing sexual innuendo
  • Refrain from commenting on religion or politics
  • Never mention names of family or children
  • Turn off geo-tracking on smart phones and GPS devices
  • Never divulge dates and locations when holidaying away from home
  • Never upload or tag photos of family or children, or without the person’s permission
  • Never publish your birthdate on public profiles
  • Use privacy settings to hide your list of personal contacts from public view

In Summary

Whether at work, driving your car or eating a meal at home, technology gives you instant access to your social networks. It’s easy to feel compelled to constantly check status updates and breaking news. While social media is a fun way to stay connected, you must carefully manage the delicate balance between your business audience and your private activities.

Visit our Careers Resources section for articles related to your job search.

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