Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Cost of (Personal) Social Media Accounts

New year, New articles to curate, New stories which just cause me to shake my head. One such story which has been making the rounds starts in (not-so) Merry England where “A human resources executive was forced from his job because his employer found his resume online and that he would consider career opportunities”. The site (Linked In) is home to pretty much all professional resumes in circulation. In fact, it is probably one of the first site one applies their profile to when establishing an online profile; next to the other two sides of Social Media- Facebook and Twitter.

When one establishes their Linked In profile; and this is a sticking point for me when looking for connections to add to my network which will provide mutual benefit, I find one of two results-> The profile is full of easy to read information and is complete; or there is no information and I am forced to move on, not wishing to connect with a ghost…back to the story…

The fact that probably a good 90% of the working population has some representation on Linked In, Including the majority of this individuals (former) company leads one to wonder why a competent employee would be let go for a minor (read: fixable) transgression. Was it ever brought to his attention how the company wished him to be represented on the network? Was there a written form or list of expectations of how his accounts would be handled? (personal vs. professional); and if not-> Where was the problem?

Upon starting any new position, there is usually a lot of paperwork to be done and regulations to be read and initialed that imply you understand the company structure and you will be the dutiful employee, you will tow the company line, and shout the company mantra long and loud, even after the two of you have parted company. Soon (if some companies haven’t already) there will be forms to tell you how you will be professionally marketed so you fall into the company image.

This I have no problem with, where my issue comes forward is that, at the end of the day, I am ME; Meaning that unless the company is paying for my service 24/7, I am going to have some say in my image (professional and personal). If this company truly had a problem with which boxes were and were not checked off on a Linked In profile, possibly a better (read:quieter) way to handle it would be in the form of a company meeting or memorandum explaining which boxes were okay. Personally, If I am holding a strong position (or even if I wasn’t), the last implication I would leave is that I am currently looking to move on. (read: error made by individual). The boxes are all listed at the bottom, and I’m sure the company will give some leeway on how a profile is written to compliment both the person and the company.

For something to truly be monitored and enforced it has to be on everyone, not just certain people, and certainly not in such a way that the aroma of ‘single-out and replace’ lingers in the air.

New Year, New world, new set of standards are being established. I still believe strongly that my social image is something I OWN. Slavery ended a long time ago; and ‘The Man’ just has to set a bar of understanding for all. I am a sub-contracted employee to any company providing me with the means to make a living. When that agreement has been breached by either party, then change is expected; otherwise work it out and business as usual, because what is expected of one should be expected of all.

Next time: The other fireball burning up braincells: WHO owns my Social Identity? I’ll give you a hint, and validate my point.

Time to look at my Linked In profile; update it for 2012 and then tune up the cowbell.

Sourcers’ Apprentice/ The Daniel J. Smith

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