Ask Nancy: How to present myself on LinkedIn to get where I want to be career wise, but not threaten my current gig?

Q:  I'm a long-time reader of your e-news and blog, and have a question for you about LinkedIn. Since it’s personal in nature, I will appreciate your discretion.  (NOTE: Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

I recognize the value of getting on LinkedIn but have a dilemma. I am employed full-time as Marketing Director with a nonprofit agency. The job is a great fit for now, but it is not what I want to do in the long-term.

In addition, I do freelance work AND am working on a masters degree in a field that IS what I want to do in the long term (i.e. global health promotion and social marketing).

What is the best way to present myself on LinkedIn? I do not want to disrespect my full-time employer but to complicate matters, my employer and freelance clients do not necessarily know that the other exists — they just know I do my work well and on time!  

I've been struggling with this for a few months, and would appreciate any thoughts and advice you may have for me.Thanks in advance for your help.

K.P., Marketing Director, .org Serving Children and Families, Chicago, IL


A:  Frankly, I’d include it all on your LinkedIn profile, Kelly. Authenticity is the name of the 2.0 game.

It'll undermine your hopes and dreams, as well as your current job and freelance work, if a client finds out another way (vs. you putting it out there) that you have a FT job, or vice versa with your employer.

Be up front and be proud!

All the Best,

P.S. Authentic branding is critical to the success of every nonprofit Web site! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don't dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 3 comments
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