Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Maintaining a professional online presence

What is CyberStalking? [Infographic]

This is a follow-up post to Oversharing: Your Biggest Cybersecurity Risk Could be You [Infographic].  “[W]here does curiosity end and cyber-stalking begin? Psychologist Dr Emma Short has told Newsbeat that people don’t always know when they’re crossing the line,” states Emily Thomas, author of Cyber-stalking: When looking at other people online becomes a problem.

Although the risks of cyber-stalking are often associated with a romantic context, anyone online can draw the attention of someone who is overly interested and fixated. This means that those who must maintain a robust online public presence for professional reasons also benefit from learning:

  • What cyber-stalking is
  • What types of risks and consequences are associated with it
  • Actionable prevention tips.

The following infographic provides exactly that. Enjoy! Read more of this post

Oversharing: Your Biggest Cybersecurity Risk Could be You [Infographic]

Having spent the past several months exploring cybersecurity issues, including business-related risks, I encountered the following infographic that may serve as a useful reminder to any individual conducting business online. This includes the self-employed who represent themselves or those representing their business. So check this infographic out for tips on good habits to cultivate for your own cybersecurity!

Via Digital Guardian

Read more of this post

My answer to a Quora question: Is it acceptable to be apolitical on LinkedIn?

In this answer, I addressed the question’s original poster (hereafter referred to as “OP”) who stated, “I have been on LinkedIn for years. I no longer feel that I belong there anymore because I came there to network for jobs rather than to discuss politics or religion… I have been struggling to find work, but LinkedIn no longer appears to be an option.” I described the general state of LinkedIn, from my own personal experience, at Is it acceptable to be apolitical on LinkedIn? by Lynn Patra. An excerpt of my answer follows: Read more of this post

Social Media and Customer Service [Infographic]

For those who’re interested in the subject of providing customer through social media, the following infographic, which was submitted by Circa Interactive, is quite informative. It covers topics like why companies should use social media to provide customer service as well as why American customers themselves seek customer service through social media. So check it out if you’re deciding whether or not to include the use of social media in your customer service repertoire.

Via USC Dornsife:

Social media is a vital communication platform and key customer service tool for businesses and organizations. Social media provides businesses the opportunities to offer instant customer service and can also help build brand validity, awareness, and exposure to core, niche or mass audiences. Similarly, it can improve customer relations and extend your brands reach across the Web.

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My Views and Values, Told Through Famous Quotes

For a time I maintained this blog the way I thought any professional (e.g., dentist, accountant, etc.) would by keeping the content restricted to my trade and professional interests. Along the way, however, I woke up about something I’d been blissfully unaware of before (thanks partly to the fact that my own cultural subgroup still doesn’t practice this). I discovered that other people (perhaps the majority) in modern western cultures, for example in the U.S., deliberately try to ensure that new friends and businesses they frequent match their values in much the same way they match their socks. If this comparison sounds strange, it’s because this whole social practice of introducing your values to new acquaintances to see if both parties agree on them is alien to me.

I won’t perpetuate this practice within my own inner circle because we’re all fine with not knowing each other’s political values. There are so many other topics to connect on! However, I’m broadcasting this for the sake of voluntary association decisions where they concern me because I’ve observed a general decline in tolerance towards those holding different values (as people often eventually find out if you match them or not), which makes working together difficult for those who’re wildly different. Borrowing from my Quora answer, What are the wisest quotes you’ve ever heard or read? by Lynn Patra, I wrote:

I can’t imagine these quotes will appeal to everyone but, then again, few things have universal appeal. For me, personally, the following quotes contribute some counter-cultural wisdom relevant to the times and the dominant mindset in my region.

On geniuses and experts:

Read more of this post

15 Networking Tips for the Introverted [Infographic]

Submitted by Drew Page at Siege Media

Edited by Lynn Patra

Attending a networking event as an introvert can be a very stressful experience. If you find yourself relegated to the corner and in a constant cycle of small talk that leaves you feeling physically exhausted, you are probably not looking forward to your next event. Here are some actionable steps that can be taken to enhance your networking experiences.

The first step in mastering the networking game as an introvert is to mentally prepare. Building a memory bank of questions and talking points is a great way to set yourself up for success. Taking time to research the potential guest list is another great idea.  Who knows, you might already know someone who is planning to go. Read more of this post

This Year, Spam Followers, & Future Posts

Yes, I’m still here and I plan to do something different on this blog this year. I began this blog focusing on the matter of telework (otherwise referred to as “remote work” or “virtual work”) as it was an exciting concept I wanted to promote. Since then, I’ve learned about obstacles to adoption and the fact that some large organizations that initially embraced it decided to call their remote workers back onsite.

So what do I think telework’s prospects are now? Well, I don’t think society will see more experimentation and, possibly, more widespread adoption until telepresence technology (enabling a more realistic simulation of face-to-face interactions) becomes more available at a lower cost. This type of technology includes holographic video conferencing as demonstrated by Cisco:

Read more of this post

When Political Proselytization and Multiculturalism Collide in Workplaces (and Elsewhere) & Related Thoughts – Part 2

Part 2 of 3: Online Etiquette & a Reminder, Multiculturalism’s Downside, and a Preview of Part 3

THIS (the messy enormity of this series) is one reason I hesitate to share my political views. More importantly though, there are professional risks. Potential backlash for unpopular views is why one shouldn’t incessantly try to elicit peoples’ opinions online, chase and put others on the spot, and put them at risk if they’re disinclined to volunteer information. Sure, they can avoid you but, the worst case scenario is, you’ll look like a jerk and make some enemies. As for why I’m sharing some views, I’m trying to prevent others from “barking up the wrong tree” because, per Part 1, there are movements and company cultures I’m incompatible with. That said, I’m content with obscurity. I’m not seeking to become a political thought leader or fame in general, so opponents can take heart that I won’t flood this blog with political posts.

Unfortunately, I’ve encountered a subset of older liberal folks (while taking notice of older liberals who don’t do this but, whenever this happens, it’s curiously never someone of any other political persuasion and this is not due to a lack of knowing older folks of other political inclinations) who try to get me to espouse or live up to their values and, in doing so, (1.) mistakenly assume I’m inclined to think as they do and (2.) are unaware that people my age have more to lose (than they do) as we’re in the midst of raising children or caring for aging parents and especially dependent on having work. Yes, it’s human to make mistakes.

More troubling, however, is that they care more about promoting their ideology and adding another warm body to their movement than they care about you, the individual, and whether you want to join their movement or not. These folks should also beware, if they aren’t already, that the consequences of publicizing political opinions are potentially harsher than before the Internet age.

Read more of this post

A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

Thoughts on Hitting the Blogging Wall and this Blog’s Future

For those who’ve thought about blogging in a professional capacity but haven’t committed, this post may be relevant to your concerns.

Churning out content regularly and frequently is challenging if you’re not adept at creating something out of nothing. For me, content creation hinges on self-education – including engaging in experiences and time-consuming content consumption. It’s helpful to have information to reflect on and synthesize prior to forming and presenting my thoughts and ideas. Additionally, I prefer to front-load research (content consumption) because the problem with “winging it” is life happens, and you’re not guaranteed to have a consistent amount of free time to sufficiently read and research along the way. Read more of this post

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