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Have you been forced onto social media for work?

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Question: "The company where I work wants everyone on the team to have individual LinkedIn accounts so we can be searched and found for the convenience of clients and vendors, and to help validate the company's image. To me, asking for an employee to set up a social media account seems to be crossing a privacy line. I suppose I could refuse, but I think I might be alone ... does anyone else see this as asking too much, or is this just the age we live in?"  - Joyce, Print Assistant

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol January 11, 2019 at 10:36 am

I am not very familiar with LinkedIn since I work in an office that handles a lot of personal information and we prefer to keep potential breach situations to a minimum, but is it possible to set up an account for the team, and simply list the names of the members? Names can escape people easily, but if they are able to search by a more common topic like a team or department name and locate that account, then a list of people may help them find the person they need.

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Donna January 11, 2019 at 8:18 am

LinkedIn is a very important tool for business purposes. Many firms utilize it just as you described, to get know to vendors, potential clients, etc. It is a much needed marketing tool. Perhaps a compromise could be a LinkedIn profile that limits your personal information. For example, you can not add a photo, or only include a few generic sentences in your profile.
I get a lot of requests to connect on my LinkedIn that are from people I do not know and are only looking to connect because of my employer. I just do not accept those requests. People look to connect to me in the hopes of connecting to the executives I support, so I do need to be careful. It is another time I act a “gatekeeper”.

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Diane J-H January 11, 2019 at 9:18 am

^^^ What she said.

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Tesstatosa January 10, 2019 at 5:41 pm

I would ask if you can opt out as you are a private person and don’t use social media. (Although, I would also caution you that you cannot use this reasoning if you have any social media accounts–including, but not limited to, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. If they find you there, it invalidates your reason.)

But LinkedIn is very much used for business purposes. So I view it differently than pure social media sites. The account should be set up with your work email and work contact information. That way all the security risks are on your employer and don’t use a password you use for any personal accounts. You will likely have to accept connection requests from your boss and co-workers, but you really won’t need to do any other active use of the network if you want.

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Karen January 10, 2019 at 5:14 pm

I agree with the others that it is a somewhat intrusive request, especially given all the concern about cyber security. At the same time, it can also be a good tool to get you noticed by other companies and search firms. So it could be to your advantage.

But if you are truly uncomfortable with it, you might want to discuss it with your boss. Others may be feeling the same way.

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Dana January 10, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Joyce, although LinkedIn is a great way to network I don’t agree with your company demanding you have an account. In my opinion this is a personal decision. Cyber security breaches are a big thing and we have learned that any site can be hacked.

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Natalie Strasser January 10, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Hi Joyce, you’re probably not ALONE in feeling this way, but my opinion is that LinkedIn isn’t “social media” in the same way that Facebook or Snapchat are (for example). It can be very low-maintenance for you – your presence on it doesn’t have to be actively maintained. At the very least, it’s like an electronic business card, and I would bet this is all your company is asking of you. But know that it can also be helpful to you on a personal professional level. When used more fully, it can also act as a resume for you, if you ever find yourself in the market for a different job. LinkedIn is a recruiting tool for many companies looking to fill positions. LinkedIn also has training courses, and is very helpful for networking in your field. Don’t rule it out just yet – take some time to look at the program and all the GOOD that it can be used for. And also know that LinkedIn (or sites similar to it) won’t be going away any time soon – your best approach is always a proactive and supportive one. IMHO :) (Mind you, I didn’t receive any compensation for this glowing review of LinkedIn) Just keep an open mind.

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Rhonda Nuesse January 10, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Hi Joyce, this seems weird to me. I think you should refuse and use the excuse of cyber security is breached and you don’t want to be affected.

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