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I'm curious about how it might look to my employer if they notice I'm actively presenting information about my current business and qualifications on a platform such as Careers 2.0, even if I'm not actively looking for a job.

Is this in generally accepted?

One could assume that I'm open to new options, which, in a way I always am. However, in the business world these profiles are very public and your actual employer might notice that your experience, etc. is up to date.

My question is: Do employers generally feel "threatened" by their employee's updated profiles, and by their participation on professional networking sites?

  • any edits for better fitting tags are welcome. I wasn't sure what I could tag this as. – Zaibis Nov 25 '15 at 15:49
  • Marketing yourself for a job while you are employed is not a problem. – Brandin Nov 25 '15 at 15:59
  • Some employers will monitor career sites for activity. But they are more looking for higher level people that may be leaving. If your boss comes across your profile yes he/she may wonder why is the person on a career site. – paparazzo Nov 25 '15 at 15:59
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The short answer is It depends on the employer.

  • Some will see it as entirely normal
  • Others may be slightly wary/concerned but make no response unless you announce you are leaving
  • Some of those remaining may start making some contingency plans just in case you leave, but will not directly respond. I would suggest this is what the majority would err toward, but that's an opinion
  • While yet others may assume you are actively looking to leave. There's no way to know, but I can almost guarantee that there will be some employers in each of those categories.

Personally, I prefer to keep LinkedIn and similar up to date at all times: that way I can legitimately point out (whether job hunting or not) that it is simply my standard practice. I update it as soon as I join a new company and regularly in the meantime: any employer can see that I'm relatively active and haven't yet left, for example.

That said, you always run the risk that your employer may assume you're leaving and act in a negative manner. The other alternative is possibly to specifically state on your profile that you are not currently looking for a chance of position - but naturally if your employer notices this and subsequently sees it disappear, that opens up a whole different bag of issues.

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  • 3
    Nice answer! My only comment is this: if you put a comment on your profile that you are not currently seeking employment 2 things might happen: 1) you might miss out on a great opportunity, and 2) it will be glaringly obvious when you remove that phrase from your profile, and really signal the alarm for your employer/coworkers. – AndreiROM Nov 25 '15 at 23:35
  • I have talked openly about keeping my resume active so that I can get some sense of what is going on in the job market. I think employers respond more favorably if you are transparent about it instead of trying to hide it. My current company completely supports their employees in following their ambition wherever it takes them, but then again, they get a lot of folks coming back to the company after leaving to pursue other opportunities. – ColleenV parted ways Nov 26 '15 at 1:52
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Do employers generally feel "threatened" by their employee's updated profiles, and by their participation on professional networking sites?

Sometimes Yes, some employers go to the extents of disallowing the employees to have any such profiles on job portals either throughout their employment or for some initial time (maybe two years).

And, some employers do not really care. They are okay with it. My employer even like my profile updates on LinkedIn. So, it depends on the employer.

However. it is good to confirm with the HR about such policies or regulations, just in case you don't want to fall into trouble.

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Employment is a financial and time relationship between an employee and an employer. Just like other relationships that involve money and time, participating in activities that could impact or even end your current relationship need clarity on expectations and relationship longevity.

If you are in a relationship with someone you may want them to always look their best regardless of how that may attract others to them. If you expect them to only look good in private, that arrangement may also work. But if your "special someone" goes out "for a night on the town" without you frequently, maybe you should have different expectations than someone that doesn't, if for no other reason than the exposure to opportunities.

So, if your employer expects complete loyalty from you (for whatever reason), then you should not participate in these activities. If your employer doesn't mind that you "show off your talent" or even encourages it, then other things are clearly more important than loyalty and relationship longevity.

Some employment relationships imply loyalty, like being a significant shareholder of the company, "key person" or founder. Additionally, remember that managers that advertise and participate in "employment seeking" activities should expect their subordinates to do the same. It sends a clear message that their time is well spent looking for better places to work.

It should be well understood that relationship longevity and expectations should be impacted. Employers will have a varied tolerances and responses to your behavior, but you can't expect the "really good ones" to not care. But then again if you worked for one, you probably wouldn't spend time "keeping your options open" because you'd be dedicated to your current employer, just like any really good relationship worth keeping. (I'm assuming career guidance, the job market, etc. are not in your line of work, of course.)

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