Work/Life Balance: Keeping Your Personal & Professional Networks Separate

Recently I have realized that I get more Facebook requests than LinkedIn requests. A lot of the Facebook friend requests that I have been getting are from colleagues and business contacts. It’s the type of requests that I used to get through LinkedIn all the time. Initially I struggled with how to handle the Facebooks requests and whether I should connect to all these business contacts through Facebook. For a long time my Facebook friend requests continued to grow and grow while I debated how to use these two separate systems. I did not want to lose the networking ability you get by connecting to people through these systems, but I did want to have a place to connect with friends and family, which was separated from my work.

Finally I have come up with a solution that has worked really well for me and has let me enjoy Facebook while still allowing me to continue to connect with a powerful business network. When a business person asks to be my friend on Facebook, I simply ignore their request on Facebook, but send them a request through LinkedIn. I usually add a message that says:

“Thanks for your friend request on Facebook. I use Facebook for personal use only and not for business networking. I would love to connect with you through LinkedIn where my business contacts are. Please accept my invitation."

This way I can use Facebook with all my friends (I love it for reconnecting with old friends!) and family. I can post pictures of my kids and family activities, and not worry about what business professional may be seeing about my personal life. I don’t have to ever worry about dealing with the cumbersome Facebook permissions, or that a friend will write something on my wall that I don’t necessarily want to share with my business network. I can tell you that I have NEVER received a negative response to my message. In fact more often than not people tell me that they like my approach and are adopting it. I feel like this keeps me tightly in the business networking game, but lets me run free and network with people I enjoy being social with. I really do believe that a nice, clear separation between personal life and business life is imperative to helping keep your life balanced. Sabrina Parsons, Guest Blogger View more posts by SCORE’s Guest Bloggers

Sabrina Parsons


Indeed you need only one

Indeed you need only one system. I personally prefer facebook, coz it is widely spread worldwide.

Sabrina, I've taken a similar

Sabrina, I've taken a similar approach. I only accept requests from people I know and have connected with somehow in LinkedIn. I even say this on the site. When I don't know them, I'll ask how we know each other. If we don't have a connection, I refer them to Facebook. Looking at my site statistics, the majority of my traffic comes from LinkedIn and Twitter so I pay less attention to Facebook. (But I'm not addicted to any of it!)

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