Is it OK to use LinkedIn / Xing / Viadeo while employed
In the media and within the HR sector, there has been some resistance and fears about how to use LinkedIn / Xing / Viadeo properly while employed the questions are many and different.
Is it OK to use LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo when i am employed?
What will my boss say if he finds out?
I have contact in Linkedin/Xing/Viadeo with a previous colleague that is know a competitor, is that a problem?
There have been a lot of questions about this issue and certain people have had a resistance in using LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo, but if you take it for what it is, a “relationship database”, I don’t see any problems in using them. It is all about networking today, even if you have a contact to a former colleague who is now hired at your competitor.
I think that these fears and the resistance arises from a misconception that LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo is a job hunting site and not a relationship database or networking tool. Certainly LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo is emerging as a very good resource for connecting candidates and headhunter, but that is not its primary role. You cant say that it is your CV you have at LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo, it is merely a profile so that people know what you can do and have done, but if you where to go job hunting you would have to make a dedicated and targeted CV instead.
With career management being an activity throughout your life, resources such as LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo and others are becoming a more important part of the strategy than ever. But how can you use these networks (either for professional networking or for job search) without it being seen as something negative from you current employer?
Most important is to develop the right mindset and be aware that building connections in these networking tools is the same thing as building up credibility in your profession and industry. If you are really networking it should be seen as a positive thing from your employers point of view. Today I think everybody is talking about networking and it is okay to do this, one way to network is to do it in these networking tools like Linkedin, Xing and Viadeo.
It should be a real professionel network and not only be friends and family, that is what Facebook is all about. And you should not have 50% recruiters/ headhunters in there, it should mainly be people who you can say are profesionells from the same proffesion or industry as you are in, or where you have previously been employed. In this case it is easy to say to an employer that this is part of your network and has a high value for the company as a contact manager and developer that is providing substantial added value.
So used in the riught way and used with the right mindset, these network like LinkedIn/Xing/Viadeo and others are valuable for you and your career