Facebook for Professionals

Facebook is becoming a large part of many people’s solcial life. Frankly, many of the people I know are active on the site all day. I turned it all off for a while, but there’s really no staying away from the vortex for me.

A friend recently expressed shock and horror at the type of photos I was posting to Facebook. They weren’t evidence of too much fun, but they weren’t exactly conducive to professional trust building.

We all have our different hats, and I don’t think we should be expected to wear all of them all of the time. When my professional switch is on, I’m not riding Shrek like a cowboy. When I’m riding Shrek like a cowboy, I’m not focussing all my attention on the problems or uncovering opportunities. It really is too much to ask that I not interact with my friends as I would like to because it might cost me and others the opportunity of doing great work together. I want my friends them to see my riding shrek – because I want to inspire them to get high on sugar and have fun too.

Luckily you don’t have to let everyone see everything you post on Facebook. You can have a fine grain of control over whether certain photos and statuses are public or friends only (and other choices). You can also backdate the privacy level of all your posts, which is a move I recently made for peace of mind. I haven’t always paid attention to who can see what.

If we haven’t been introduced on Facebook, all you’ll be able to see of me is my profile picture and some basic information. That’s so I can use Facebook as it’s mean to be used: socially, and without worrying about the unintended repercussions of my tendency to share and people’s tendency to get judgy.

It’s not hard to set this up. The direct link to the relevant settings page is here. This is how I’ve got things setup:

You’ll still be able to post updates with specific privacy settings, so they may be publicly viewed, for example. For this, you’ll want to make sure people can discover you by search, of course. I turned this off so I can also use whatever profile picture I like without worrying about offending the sensibilities of potential clients.

It’s Facebook, for god’s sake. It’s for time wasting and having fun. For everything productive and sensible, we have Linked In (thankfully).

Posted on October 14, 2013, modified October 14, 2013.