These days it seems like social media is everything. We work there, we laugh there, we even cry there.
But where do we draw the line? Sites like Instagram and Facebook are a gift and a curse when it comes to branding yourself.
I’m sure you don’t want your boss creeping on your Instagram page looking at that photo of you and your friends after too many $5 margaritas at happy hour, but the trouble is that a different audience would totally double tap that.
I struggle with this because I post all of these fun moments for my friends and family to see but when that potential employer or client comes lookin’, I’m heading straight for that delete button.
There is such a thin line between polishing your brand and maintaining your authentic self on social media.
Some people will say “Well, if you lead a certain life, people will have nothing to criticize you about.” How logical is this? I mean, we definitely do not carry ourselves the same way in and out of the office 24/7.
Next time there’s a random photographer at that bar you love, stay away. It’s better to lay low and keep those precious (probably ‘inappropriate’) moments to yourself.
Sacrificing this image may be vital to the advancement of your professional career. Keeping your personal life off of social media has its rewards because if your business is centered around social media, it creates laser focus on your business.
If you work in the office, it will keep nosey, gossiping coworkers from asking those awkward questions you always try to avoid. (Because we all know the awkward “how was your weekend?” question on Monday morning by the coffee machine is enough.)
For this reason alone, I try to finesse my way into the photographer spot for the night. This way I’m the one behind the camera instead of in front of it. This is an easy way to avoid unflattering photos of yourself being plastered all over your feed the next morning.
We can’t forget to acknowledge those who thrive and grow their business off of social media. This can be especially difficult for those people because their job is to post!
I know plenty of people who do post their social lives, and manage to keep the healthy balance of just a little personal vs. professional. Some even keep separate profiles for exclusivity purposes.
As jobs become more expressive and less ‘suit and tie’ the line becomes more blurred.
However, there’s always a sense of professionalism that needs to be there to carry out certain aspects of your job, especially social media.
Aside from increased privacy, I find that it helps me to redirect my energy to things that are more important. Being able to find and define that thin line I’ve been between social and professional, keeps your life in order. And you’ll think twice before taking those photos, especially when job hunting.
However, there is a simple solution for first world problems like these. Discretion. Lil’ Wayne said it best- “Real G’s move in silence like lasagna.” Yup, I went there.
Put your personal Instagram profile on private and fix those privacy settings on your Facebook. This will give you complete control over who sees what in your life.
It may decrease your follower count, but it will increase your authenticity and quality of life. You’ll be able to strut in the interview, or any room for that matter, with no fear of last weekends’ events catching up to you.