Will Blogging and Social Media Cost Me a Future Job?

2015 08-19 Google Geoff WhaleyHave you ever googled yourself? There are plenty of articles out there saying you should never do it, or you should do it all the time, but have you done it? You know future employers are going to, so why wouldn’t you?

Wondering what it would be like for a co-worker or future employer to search for me I did a quick search and the screen grab is to the right. It’s mostly me; 75% of it is links directly to something I’ve put online.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my online presence: my blog (geoffwhaley.com), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn. I have a pretty robust online presence and I made a conscious decision when I started my blog over five years ago to keep that presence public.

I don’t do or write about anything illegal; I don’t do or write about anything too controversial; and I definitely draw a line between my professional time and my personal time. And yet, here I am wondering if all of this openness will hinder future career prospects.

My answer: No. 

Why? I won’t allow it.

I love what I do: development (fundraising) and alumni relations. I am excited to grow and progress within my career and I have no intentions of turning my blog into a book or my passions into a marketing career.

What I have found over the past five plus years of blogging about books and culture, personal passions, and participating in various social media platforms is I am much more capable and confident in doing my job within the career I’ve chosen.

I’ve narrowed this idea down to three thematic reasons: hard skills, people and networking skills, and establishing individuality.

These might sound vague and they’re meant to, for now at least, but as I look into each one over the next few weeks I plan to explain why each is important to me personally. And I plan to explain how they add value to my current and future employers, as well as to my own professional career.

Do you have an online presence under your real name? Is social media or blogging a concern for you? What do you do to bridge this seeming hurdle when it comes to career progression?

 

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11 thoughts on “Will Blogging and Social Media Cost Me a Future Job?

  1. An incredibly timely question since I did do the search yesterday for my online presence. Nothing that will cause any problems because I am super careful what and how I post. I have to be because I work as reputation manager for a multinational so can’t be seen to say anything compromising. Unlike some people who seem to have no brain cells like the British police sent to Spain to eke law and order among drunken British holidaymakers and then tweet about their own drunken behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Those of us that do it correctly know what we’re doing. I’m just trying to get ahead of it and say don’t be afraid of my presence, be glad for it. Plus the whole self-reflection aspect of the blog you know 🙂

      Like

  2. Such a great read, and something I think about daily.

    I work in social media marketing and appreciate a lot is expected in the way I carry myself online. Anyone who works in this industry should (hopefully) understand that while you can delete past tweets, articles or Instagram photos, if you care about your career you’ll know it’s key not to publish anything that could tarnish your online presence.

    http://www.thegirlcalledjay.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Jay! You’re absolutely correct. I guess I’ve spent so much time thinking about it because I don’t work in marketing, just in parallel to it and I wonder if those I work with, or could potentially work with, do understand it and how I use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t blog under my name. I’m not too concerned about it damaging any future employment, but I prefer keeping my work life and my personal life separate. I’ve had a bad experience of an extremely nosey colleague such that I felt like asking them if they’d consider a role in the police force.
    I think if someone won’t employ you because of your blog, they are probably not going to be a good fit for you so it’s probably for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment! And I hadn’t thought of it that way when it comes to an employer. I’m less concerned about nosy coworkers as it comes with the territory of development and alumni relations.

      Like

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