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A lot of people use the same username for Stack, Git, Codepen, etc. This is convenient from a personal level.

How concerned should I be with sharing my community involvement to clients if I participate in sites like The Workplace? My username here might be the same as on StackOverflow or Git.

I am not talking about anything illegal but just sites like Workplace when it's not as directly "work related?" I'm worried clients might see it as a negative.

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    Are you asking about security or about brand management? I suspect the latter. Clearly people talk different approaches to both, can you phrase this as less of an opinion poll and more of an answerable question please. – Nathan Cooper Dec 13 '16 at 0:12
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    Yes, @NathanCooper you are indeed correct, it is the latter. Will try to trim the Q some. – norcal johnny Dec 13 '16 at 0:13
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    If you only post questions and answers that you aren't embarrassed to have associated with you personally, then you have nothing to be worried about. – WorkerDrone Dec 13 '16 at 12:35
  • I edited this to hopefully get it reopened as I believe it is on topic. I clarified what I felt was the intent of the question, if I misunderstood feel free to edit and clarify further! – enderland Dec 22 '16 at 16:55
  • I don't think I can expand on this in an answer, but it depends on your attitude towards the "damage" the things you say does to your career. To massively oversimplify: Say you became wildly famous for your dislike of TPS reports, and therefore complete persona non grata to all the Initechs of the world. Depending on where you are in your career, outlook and goals, this could be anywhere between a disaster and a handy way to reduce recruiter spam. What content you want to be associated with is always going to be a personal decision. – Nathan Cooper Jan 18 '17 at 22:57
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Just as any hobby, whether Github or Stack Exchange, think about how it reflects on you. There are many questions here which would not be good reflections on their posters - a lot are "my boss/coworkers suck" type.

Those would not reflect well on you, but neither would a profile of trivial questions on Stack Overflow (or more scandalous content elsewhere online or on your Facebook).

However, some people write good content. In these cases it can contribute positively to your personal brand. There are three key pieces in this puzzle:

  1. What the quality of your content is
  2. What its content actually is
  3. How you present it

The first two are discussed above. The latter is probably the most interesting piece of this puzzle.

But realistically even if you are the top contributor here, the overall impact a site like this will have is pretty minor, unless you can correlate it to actual experiences in your interview/resume. The answer to how a site like this affects personal brand is more often than not, "no one cares" - my 77,000 reputation here is just fairy dust for 99% of interviewers.

It's just one little niche site in a large internet and a site that is likely unknown to most people. If anything the way you could brand experience here is "I write answers for a site like AskAManager" because it is more popular and well known.

I have talked about my experiences here in a more generic sense, saying that I write online and answer questions which helps me to be better at communicating. This is much more impactful when "marketing" myself because it is a valuable and tangible skill to talk through with an employer.

I think this is fairly good advice for any hobby - unless you are forcing conversation make sure to discuss the skills and benefit you actually get from your hobby. Stack Exchange is no different in this regard. But be aware you might get asked "what's your profile?" if you do say you write on it. Don't have a pile of "my boss SUCKS" questions..


All that being said, it is advisable to ask questions you would be embarrassed to have publicly associated with you either with a second account or anonymously.

  • +1 for suggesting using a second account for those questions or answers that might cause embarrassment. – Bill Michell Dec 22 '16 at 17:14
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The reality is, in these time and day you need to manage your personal brand.

There are examples all over internet of how "community involvement" can ruin careers. That's why people need to do a "boss-check" on everything they post openly online. "Is this something I want to show my future employer."

And yes, a well kept stack-account which shows that involvement can help, just make it safe for work, and answer topics that don't pass the boss-check with an alias instead of your "main" account.

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