LinkedIn has become an indispensable tool for professional networking and career development. With over 740 million members worldwide, LinkedIn provides a platform for professionals to build connections, join industry groups, and promote their skills and experience.
One of the most common LinkedIn connection requests comes from your boss or supervisor. Is it advisable to link up with your manager on LinkedIn? There are good arguments on both sides of the debate.
The case for linking up
Here are some potential benefits of connecting with your boss on LinkedIn:
- It allows your boss to endorse your skills and leave recommendations – Having endorsements and recommendations from your manager can enhance your LinkedIn profile and serve as valuable social proof of your capabilities.
- It strengthens your professional relationship – Connecting on LinkedIn can lead to more open communication and collaboration, as you gain insight into each other’s networks and expertise.
- It shows you have nothing to hide – Refusing a connection request from your boss may signal that you want to keep your professional life private or compartmentalized.
- It gives your boss visibility into your connections – Your boss can get a better sense of your professional community and relationships by seeing your network.
- It facilitates company networking – Your link makes it easier for coworkers and clients to find and connect with you through shared connections.
Overall, linking up with your boss can foster positive transparency, improve internal networking, and help demonstrate the value you bring to the company.
The case against linking up
However, there are also some potential drawbacks of connecting with your manager on LinkedIn:
- It blurs professional boundaries – Social media links can erode work-life boundaries, enabling your boss to access more of your personal information and networks.
- It creates pressure to connect with other coworkers – Linking with your manager may set expectations that you connect with all colleagues.
- It gives your boss access to your job search activity – Your boss could get notified if you update your LinkedIn profile or begin searching for new job opportunities.
- It impedes free expression – You may feel less comfortable expressing your true opinions and interests on LinkedIn if your employer can see your activity.
- It exposes your connections to recruiting – Your boss may reach out through you to recruit your own professional contacts.
Essentially, connecting on LinkedIn removes some privacy boundaries and gives your boss visibility that some employees may consider intrusive or unnecessary.
Best practices for linking
If you decide to link up with your manager on LinkedIn, here are some tips to maintain a healthy professional relationship:
- Keep your profile focused – Exclude overtly personal details and avoid controversial opinions. Keep the tone professional.
- Limit visibility of your connections – Change your settings so your boss can’t see all your connections by default.
- Be selective in your engagement – You don’t have to actively engage with your boss’ network or content.
- Customize notifications – Adjust notifications so your boss doesn’t automatically get notified when you make profile changes.
- Maintain work-life boundaries – Don’t feel obligated to connect with your boss on other social media channels.
- Use privacy settings – Take advantage of options to limit your boss’ visibility into certain sections of your profile and activity.
With the right settings and boundaries, you can link professionally on LinkedIn while still maintaining a level of personal privacy.
Things to consider
If you’re unsure about connecting with your manager on LinkedIn, here are some things to take into account:
- Your company culture – What’s the norm in your workplace? Expectations may vary by industry.
- Your boss’ style – How actively does your manager use LinkedIn? Are they respectful of boundaries?
- Your career goals – Will a connection help your visibility and advancement in the company?
- The stage of your career – Early career professionals arguably have more to gain from manager connections.
- Your comfort level – Go with your gut. Don’t connect if it makes you uneasy.
Consider the context of your own work environment and professional development aims when deciding if a boss connection is right for you.
Is it unprofessional not to connect?
Not necessarily. It’s ultimately your choice, and a reasonable boss will understand if you prefer not to link profiles.
What if my boss finds my profile first?
The invitation is in your court. There’s no obligation to accept a connection request from your boss.
Should I notify HR if I don’t want to connect?
No need. This is an informal social media preference, not something that requires official reporting.
Can I hide my profile from my boss after connecting?
Yes, you can change your settings to limit your boss’ visibility into certain sections of your profile.
Can I restrict my boss from contacting my network?
Yes, you can control the options for your boss to interact with your connections.
|Pros of Connecting
|Cons of Connecting
Connecting with your boss on LinkedIn has its potential upsides and downsides. Much depends on your specific work environment and career aims. If you do decide to link profiles, be thoughtful about your settings, activity, and boundaries. With the right precautions, linking with your manager can be a beneficial professional move.