Professional vs. Personal Identity

personalprofessionalBefore I started working at EnVeritas Group, I never had to worry about my personal identity clashing with my professional one. At my previous job working as a project manager, I wasn’t really tweeting about my job and cool things in the industry—I was simply managing projects.

But taking the EVG job prompted a few changes. As a social media manager (even though my actual title is cooler, digital media coordinator), it’s my job to get people excited about our social media and our online presence. I made the decision to create an entirely different, work-related twitter (which you can find here).


In my personal life, even when I was a student at college tweeting about things like #BeerRhetorics and #msupw, I have always branded myself as a writer. And after college, I worked even harder to brand myself as a creative writer of novels, poems, and stories. My personal blog became a writing blog. My Facebook talked about my writing, pushing my blog posts, and also talking about some Professional Writing related things.

At EVG, I needed a more professional identity. I didn’t want to brand myself as a digital media coordinator on my twitter when I had already branded myself as a writer. So, I decided that it was time to take the plunge—and I created my work related twitter. My LinkedIn, already work-central, became much more active with the dive into my role as digital media coordinator. I created a Google+ page for my professional role, entirely different than my personal, writing-focused Google+.

For me, it was the perfect move. I have the ability to keep things professional on my professional pages, as well as push all of the awesome content happening at EVG, and at the same time I can focus on my brand as a writer with my other pages.

If you’re coming straight out of college, if you have a brand new job, or if you have a job you’ve been at for a while, consider separating your personal and professional identities—it might be a great move for you, too.

I actually wrote a more in-depth post on this for work—check it out here.

Vanessa is a digital media coordinator by day and a writer, novelist, and badass cook by night. She loves used bookstores, is way too serious about tea, and is mildly obsessed with cats. She totally wants to be buddies, so you should follow her on twitter & check out her writing blog.

Hat Tipping, and Other Social (Media) Courtesies

How often do you find content on social media that you want to re-share with your network? Each social media space has different rules and different ways of going about that process, be it “sharing” on Facebook or “retweeting” on Twitter. Or you can always copy and paste the content, contextualize it your own way, and reshare it with your network,

If you’re on Twitter, you may have seen a common abbreviation “HT” (or H/T) in a tweet, followed by a mention of another user. It took me a few times of seeing it to look for an explanation. Trusty Urban Dictionary gave me a bit of insight, and defined HT as “Hat Tip.” Essentially, it’s a way to give someone credit for a thought or origination of content.

Examples of Hat Tipping

It’s important to me to always give the originator of an idea credit. Whenever possible, if someone directed me to a piece of information, I try to give them a hat tip. I expect the same it return. That doesn’t mean that I expect a full retweet or share, but a little nod to say, “Hey. Thanks for sharing interesting content,” just seems to be polite.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I find and share content, and it is then usurped from under me and played off as another person’s discovery. Sure, it’s the internet. It’s a big place and if there’s a relatively common news story, I don’t expect to be the one to get credit for breaking it. However, if it’s a niche item, a little respect goes a long way.

What do you think? Do you like hat tipping, or do you feel like the internet is for sharing regardless of the content finder/originator? Vigorous conversation in the comments section: GO!

Alexandra WhiteAlexandra is a WordPress & front-end developer who builds awesome things. She loves craft beer, apple cider cookies, and traveling to new places (especially when the trip is free). You should follow her on twitter and maybe you can become internet friends. Or maybe even IRL friends.