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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is CSO of Linchpin People and SQLPeople, an SSIS Trainer, Consultant, and developer; a Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml) developer; SQL Server database and data warehouse developer, community mentor, engineer, and farmer. He is a co-author of SQL Server 2012 Integration Services Design Patterns. His background includes web application architecture and development, VB, and ASP. Andy loves the SQL Server Community!
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SQLU Professional Development Week: The Difference Between Your Business and Community Presence

Introduction

Proto-earth, dinosaurs, and the days when your personal and business profiles were separate and distinct. What do these things all have in common? They are all in the past.

Background Checks

Corporate background checks now routinely include a search for social media profiles, forum posts, and blogs. As professionals are learning, the things you say and do in your "off-work hours" can and will be used against you - even after you're hired and have been doing the job awhile.

One point? Be careful what you put online. That stuff never goes away (<-- the company website for a small business I ran from 1994 - 2001). There are a couple approaches to managing your online image:

  1. Keep track of your public persona. Shape it. Manipulate it. Second-guess every Facebook and LinkedIn update and tweet; or
  2. Be yourself.

I like the second option.

Being You

I checked my watch just now and it's 2011. I think we're all past the time when it's-not-personal-it's-just-business is an acceptable excuse for treating someone poorly. But if that's where you are, you may want to choose option 1 above. It's a lot more work, and you will eventually be found out, but it may protect you for a bit.

Being you isn't without risk. You will lose opportunities because of you. Some will not be comfortable with your views on something or other, others will be uncomfortable with your openness. Transparency isn't easy and it isn't free. Some find it intimidating and that's ok.

A Little Secret

There are more fish in the sea. There is enough work out there for you to shop around some until you find a good fit for you. There will be new projects dreamed up tomorrow, next week, and next month. You don't have to change who you are to avoid starvation and bankruptcy.

In other words, you will be ok just being you.

Conclusion

Be who you are.
Do what you are.

Published Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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dmmaxwell said:

Couldn't agree more. I'm pretty open and honest about who I am, and it hasn't hurt my career yet. I thought long and hard before making the latest changes to my online profiles, but I'm satisfied with them.  I'm aware that my current employer keeps tabs on my social media profiles, and I'm fine with that.

One thing I will say is that I go out of my way, if you couldn't tell already, to NOT mention my employer or any clients by name during my tenure with them.  And usually after as well.  We've all had our frustrations, but venting about your employer on twitter or facebook is usually a career ending move. (Though that may be a bit off-topic at this point.) :-)

Thanks for the post - one of my favorites.

February 23, 2011 8:52 AM
 

andyleonard said:

Hi Dmmaxwell,

  I occasionally mention clients and my employer (especially now that *I* and my employer!). Since I started blogging I've maintained a standing rule of putting one year between any event and blogging about it. I find that year adds much needed perspective.

:{>

February 23, 2011 8:58 AM
 

DavidStein said:

Whenever we talk about this kind of thing I'm always reminded of a quote from The Color Of Money.

“He’s got to learn how to be himself, but on purpose.” – Paul Newman

http://www.made2mentor.com/2010/11/branding-leaves-a-mark/

Great post Andy.

February 23, 2011 9:29 AM
 

Pradeep Adiga said:

Well said Andy. Couldn't agree more.

February 23, 2011 1:46 PM
 

Jorge Segarra said:

Great post as always Andy! Couldn't agree more with "be yourself" advice. I REALLY like your method of waiting a year between blogging events dealing with a particular client/employer. Another key lesson is to remember the Internet has a LONNNNNG memory (http://web.archive.org/) and what you say and do online will essentially define who you are to those who haven't met you. And let's not forget where our tweets are going...(http://articles.cnn.com/2010-04-14/tech/library.congress.twitter_1_tweets-micro-blogging-twitter?_s=PM:TECH)

February 23, 2011 9:50 PM
 

John Sterrett said:

Great post Andy.

February 27, 2011 9:45 AM

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