I would like to hear your story. The story about your guiding principle on sharing your life and work online.
Everyone is their own media company today. The tools and channels are out there; you just need to grab the reins and ride into glory. But should you?
There probably isn’t one correct answer. “It depends” comes closest to it, but that’s not at all satisfying or actionable. Improving your online and offline public image usually benefits your career, and wider exposure leads to more opportunities and ability to influence, irrespective of an industry. Moreover, if you’re selling your business or your skills as a freelancer, you just have to be out there and hustle.
What if you have a regular job and don’t need to expose yourself? What if that just takes time from family and hobbies? On the other hand, how “steady” is that job? Decades-long positions are things of the past, and future employers and customers look ever more to your online presence before deciding to form a relationship with you.
In addition to the professional angle, many people desire to share personal experiences and accomplishments with others too, especially when social networks allow quick feedback loops and social validation. That’s why our feeds are full of food, vacation photos, and hobbies. It’s extremely hard to resist sharing a graduation or a trip of your dreams. But what is the end goal of sharing publicly? It seems that’s just a curation curse where we spend more time on taking and editing “a perfect photo” than in actually enjoying the thing that is photographed (replace “photo” with a tweet, video, etc).
How do you balance this divide between public and private, online and offline? Reply, send me a message, write a blog post and link to here; whatever works for you. I would like to hear your story.
There were a couple of public responses to this post, but the majority came through private channels, both solicited and unsolicited. This was a bit surprising at first, but after thinking about it for a while, it makes sense—many people don’t feel comfortable writing publicly about private plans and motivation behind them.
The answers on how much and what is shared varied wildly and is too diverse to come up with a conclusion. “It depends” won again.
Nevertheless, there was one thing that everyone who contacted me agreed upon—having a professional online presence is helpful in one’s career regardless of its current state.