I'm a professional developer for a consulting company. I don't go onsite with clients often, but it does happen (so I don't use business cards often, but I have them). My employer is in the process of replacing all business cards (new head office address), and has asked that we provide our LinkedIn URLs to appear on our cards.

Should I care/object? I tend to have a high degree of concern about privacy, and this request bothers me, but I can't really articulate why (which makes me suspect I'm overreacting). I'm not looking to change jobs, I like where I work, etc. I guess I feel that my LinkedIn presence is a personal resource and not a corporate resource. On the other hand, the only likely outcome is additional professional connections on LinkedIn, which is probably a net positive should I ever want to consider other opportunities.

Edit to clarify: I do recognize that LinkedIn is not a private resource in the way that, say, a Facebook page is (although it does allow privacy controls). What I meant to say is that I view my LinkedIn page as a personal resource for making professional connections, not as my employer's resource for marketing, and that my general concerns about online privacy make me tend to be concerned anytime I feel like a line is being blurred.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jan Doggen, Dukeling, IDrinkandIKnowThings, DLS3141, Chris E Aug 1 '17 at 17:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Why do you think Linkedln is personal resources? If you want privacy, do it on Facebook. – SmallChess Aug 1 '17 at 15:39
  • 1
    You put up a LinkedIn to be seen. Whatever's private shouldn't be there. – Wesley Long Aug 1 '17 at 15:41
  • 1
    @SmallChess and WesleyLong - Your comments show I didn't state my concerns well; I've added a clarification about "Privacy". Thanks! – Jason Clark Aug 1 '17 at 15:48
  • 1
    So why not make a seperate Linked In profile that is specifically for this businesses purposes? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 1 '17 at 15:51
  • 2
    What would your employer do if you didn't have a LinkedIn account? Force you to get one? – shoover Aug 1 '17 at 17:00

Should I object?

No, you should not object. LinkedIn was made precisely for this type of use. I cannot think of anything private that you should ever have on LinkedIn.

In this case the marketing aspect works both ways. If visits are obtained via your employers business cards, you are still getting visibility which is almost always a bonus on LinkedIn. ( The more marketable you are the more you typically get paid )

  • 2
    Down-voter please explain so I can improve my answer. – Mister Positive Aug 1 '17 at 17:12
  • 1
    +1 to this. I'd also add that you (the OP) are one of the products your company is selling. Allowing prospective clients to browse your linkedin is a way of showing off the your history and education, hopefully resulting in more interest in your company's services. – Maybe_Factor Aug 2 '17 at 1:12

Your LinkedIn account is your account. Unlike a business number of work email it isn't something provided by your employer. So you are right; it's something which belongs to you and the decision to put it on your business card would, in an ideal world, be up to you.

However, what your employer has done is (I think) a misdemeanor level offense since, theoretically, the information available through LinkedIn probably isn't super-personal in nature and is probably related to your job.

It wouldn't be out of line to simply and casually ask your employer if there's anyway your LinkedIn URL can be left off your card, but expect them to say 'no' and roll with it. There are lots of aggravating things in the world that we can't control, your business card is (most likely) about to become just one more.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.