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The Do’s and Don’ts of Balancing Personal and Professional through Social Media

Social MediaRebecca PotznerComment

Finding the perfect work /life balance is a constant topic of discussion, especially with young professionals and their new work schedules. Now with the high prevalence of social media, the conversation has branched off into the online realm regarding the balance of a personal and professional presence.

As new professionals transition from college to the working world or even those who have been practicing the profession for years, it’s never a bad idea to evaluate your portrayal on social media. Take a step back and look at what you’ve been sharing with the world. Ask yourself if it’s an accurate representation of yourself and your career.

Each individual person tends to have their own opinion on how to go about hosting personal accounts. Some balance it through one account while others juggle multiple accounts, one for personal and another for professional.  Whose to say which way is correct. However, you’re an individual; one person and you should come off that way both on and off social media.

Establishing yourself as an individual through social media can assist in gaining credibility, building relationships, gaining or giving insight and can ignite thought leadership. With simple do’s and don’ts to keep your presence in check, it’s easy and highly beneficial to maintain a balance of personal and professional.

Do Establish your voice and make it strong and consistent.  Letting your personality shine through your social imprint will not only help you come off as more authentic but also more personable. Be serious when you need to be. Have fun when you can be.

Don’t talk about confidential information. While it sounds like common sense, sometimes it needs to be said. Your employer, clients and connections all trust you to keep certain information private. To keep that trust, you must keep

Do incorporate your interests, both professionally and personally.  Adding onto your voice, back it up with content that showcases your interests in and out of work. This may look like sharing industry related articles and sharing tips while mixing in a link to an event you’ll be attending or a playlist that gets you through the work day.

Don’t use foul language. Do you talk to your boss with that mouth?  Speak like you would want to be spoken to and with professionalism. Sure, you can throw in some slang but keep it clean.

Don’t live tweet your night at the bar. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy a night out, but keep it off line. Sharing that you tried a new craft beer is fine. Sharing that you guzzled 5 beers is not.

 Don’t give into drama. There are days where we may find ourselves frustrated at work and needing to vent. Social media is not the answer.  Talking poorly on others, our company or clients, even if they’re unnamed will ultimately result in negative repercussions. Even if you plan on leaving, think about how future employers will view your actions.

Do read before you share or retweet.  The title might sound intriguing, but with the rise in click bait, you never truly know what’s on the other side of the url. Be sure to read through any content you may share to 1) be able to continue the conversation

 Don’t post anything with grammatical errors or misspellings. Rushing to press send and overlooking errors will haunt you in the long run. While timing is very important for social media, a grammar or spelling error can decrease your credibility.

 Do follow and interact with professionals, friends and influencers. The beautiful thing about social media is that it opens conversation between people around the world. Take advantage of that. Connect with professionals in your area and interact with their posts. Send links to videos or articles that remind you of a friend. Chat with influencers on topics you find interesting. Social media is not only a great networking tool but it is also a helpful tool in maintaining those relationships.

Both new and seasoned professionals alike must remember that this is a public representation of yourself, but also your company, clients and your future. Taking the time to think through your personal content to intertwine two very important aspects of your life can go a long way in establishing yourself on social media.