Career Currency: Should workers stay neutral online?

Career Currency Online

Today I ran across a BBC article asking, How can employees also be social-media activists? The article goes on to caution, “Experts say that unfiltered social activism could cost you valuable career currency.” While I understand this point, there is more than one type of “career currency” to think about.

Career currency covers more than simply having a job–at least to my mind. Having a job is important, of course. But having a job that you love is the real prize. Accepting a job that you do not love also costs you valuable career currency. And who can love anything that forces you to be someone you are not?

Years ago, when launching various social media platform businesses (MyST Blogsite, MySmartChannels, Enterprise RSS Services, etc.) I made a conscious decision to not hide my political, (non-)religious, and social views. I would have one online persona–me. Not a business persona and a personal persona. I have opinions about things. I’m outspoken.

I did this knowing that it might reduce my chances of doing business with some people–customers, partners, investors, employees, etc. But, the world is a big place. It includes many people that share my views or at least are tolerant and accepting of my views. And that portion of the world is not only plenty big enough for me but also where I prefer to spend my time–personally and professionally.

The freedom to just be me–always, without worrying about which face to show in which context, has been truly liberating. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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