5

I apologize if this is "off-topic", but based off my reading of this stack for a while (man, are there ever some interesting questions popping up around here), I believe I am within site scope. The question closest to my situation was closed here, but I believe my question is clearer and in a different context. Anyway, here is my situation:

I work, and plan to continue working, in the tech industry. I also find myself to be hilarious.

For this reason, I have begun pod-casting with a long time friend about nothing in particular, but definitely in the realm of comedy. The subject matter strays into areas that may be deemed inappropriate, and other areas that are absolutely inappropriate. I enjoyed myself thoroughly recording the first episode, but I don't want something stupid, and something intended to be comedic, to ruin my professional life.

For now I have decided to remain anonymous on the podcast and I do not bring up my professional life. But, if anyone were curious, especially in the age of internet sleuths and due to the public nature of the platform, I'm sure I would be discovered.

My question is, abstracting from my specific situation, how do I separate my professional life from my "after-hours" life? Is it naive to assume that this is possible? Is not associating my name/identity with the offending portions of my social life enough to separate the two?

I want to be clear that I am not inciting violence or promoting hate-speech or anything of the sort. Just talking to my friend with some microphones on.

  • 1
    What, exactly, is inappropriate about your podcast? Foul language in general? Or things that could be perceived as racism, sexism, etc? – John Feltz Dec 6 '16 at 21:09
  • @JohnFeltz precisely this. Foul language and the perception of any sort of bigoted remarks. Our remarks tend to be in very "poor taste", or rather insensitive, but we are clearly poking fun at absurdity, not forwarding bigoted views. – INV3NT3D Dec 6 '16 at 21:52
  • The other question was closed for being unclear, you're pretty clear on this. – Retired Codger Dec 6 '16 at 21:59
  • People are losing jobs over Facebook posts. When confronted about these, they usually "obviously never meant it that way". Why do you think your podcasts are different? – Michael Schumacher Dec 6 '16 at 22:50
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    @MichaelSchumacher my podcasts would be no different, this is part of the question really. Is it possible to separate that portion of my life from my professional life? What if I was a risque stand-up comedian after hours? Is this sort of activity just not compatible with a "professional" life? – INV3NT3D Dec 7 '16 at 2:39
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Use a stage name. Most performers use one or another. Your stage persona is just that, and separate from your "professional" one.

It's a good idea because it does give you a degree of anonymity, and should any difficulties arise, you can use the fact that you have not even used your name in an effort to make a distinct separation between you and the company should go a long way. Just do not ever mention who you work for or disparage them in any way shape or form. That will give you as much cover as possible.

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    However, be aware that complete anonymity on line is impossible, and this may in fact make retaining employment difficult. You need to set your priorities and accept that actions have consequences. – keshlam Dec 7 '16 at 3:57
  • @keshlam yep, that's why I said a degree of anonymity. If someone wants you bad enough, they'll find a way to Docs you. – Retired Codger Dec 7 '16 at 13:21
5

I don't think there's any need to worry, unless you are attacking your company or its clients.

I currently work in the tech industry. I also work with many people who have side-gigs. Artists, writers, DJs, etc. None of them try to be secretive about it.

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    I think there is. If you are a Trump supporter in an extremly liberal company, you professional oppertunities could be limited (and the other way around). There is a reason why you should not discuss politics at the office. Is it right? No, not really, but this is just what it is. However it is not unprofessional for him to do so. I agree with that, but there are certain risks. Plenty of people who have been fired because they had a certain opinion on youtube. – Jeroen Dec 7 '16 at 14:12
1

Just don't mention where you are employed. Don't say anything about your company, about your co-workers, about your company's clients, about your company's product, and possibly about your company's industry.

Doing any of these things can get you into trouble up to getting sacked. If you see anyone on the internet denigrating your company etc., don't try to defend them, but tell your manager (who should know what to do), or your marketing people (who should know what to do, and whose job it is).

Now if you do things where your company says "if people found out that this person on the internet is our employee, that would damage the reputation of our company", that would be a problem. I can't say anything about the legality, but there would be trouble. You should have some idea what your company would think would be "damaging their reputation", that will be different from company to company.

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