I’ve been blogging for around two and a half years and using Twitter for both professional and personal purposes for the same length of time. One led to the other. I had a Twitter account, mainly to follow my favourite football team but I wasn’t really connected to many people and didn’t have many followers.
However, when I started blogging, I knew that in order to discuss my content with others and share it amongst the HR community, I would need to expand my Social Media HR network and so I took the conscious decision to embrace Twitter for both personal and professional purposes. I knew that by doing so, I’d also read content from others, and learn, which I have done to a huge extent.
Some have told me that they believe connecting the professional and the personal is a risky strategy. What if future employers see your Twitter feed and see something they don’t like? What if your friends take the piss out of you for the work-related content you share? What if the people who follow you for your HR related output get annoyed by your Swansea City rants and decide not to follow you any longer?
I don’t concern myself with the answers to these questions. I don’t really care. I don’t think I say or do anything on my Social Media accounts that any reasonable person would be disappointed by. Maybe one day I’ll change my mind, but at the moment I’m cool with how I conduct myself. I am pragmatic enough to know that personal branding is important and I’m fairly comfortable that mine is in tact.
I’ve been called both naive and brave. I don’t think i’m either.
I try and live by the golden rule – don’t share anything on Social Media that could be deemed offensive. But I don’t think I would do that anyway, because that’s not in my make-up. Other than that, I believe that by having one Twitter account and sharing both my personal and professional interests, people get to know the real me. And i’ve noticed that the people I really like and admire, both the friends that I’ve known for a long time and friends I’ve met through Social Media, all do the same. I love it because I get to really know these people. Or at least I think I know them. Obviously, people carefully choose what they want to share so there will be a side to everyone that I don’t know but I can live with that. I think that in itself is authentic.
What I dislike, are boring, corporate, strictly professional accounts. I learn very little from the people behind them. I lose interest in those that tweet out and don’t engage.
So, in keeping with my ethos, and by way of an introduction to the new followers I’ve gained in the last few months I thought I’d let you know a little bit about who I am. So here goes…
I’m 33 and I live in a town called Neath, which is in South Wales and near to Swansea. I am very proud to be Welsh and I wish I could speak more of the language.
I’m married and I have a little boy called Oscar and who I frequently refer to as #LittleLegend on Twitter. I’ve done this ever since he was born and he’s 4 now. I do this, because I hope when he is older, he will curate all tweets with the #LittleLegend hashtag and see what I’ve written about him. So Twitter had better be around forever!
I’m a huge fan of Swansea City Football Club and of Boxing. I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan and I often rely on nostalgia for comfort. After a tough week, I like nothing more than watching a film I’ve seen a hundred times like ‘The Goonies’ or listening to an album I’ve loved since my teenage years, like ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’ by ‘Funeral For A Friend’.
In my spare time I like to write and play music (I sing and play bass) and I’m currently trying to re-learn how to surf. I’m not doing very well.
I believe in fairness, community, equality and compassion. I believe in giving a hand up and in kindness.
I believe poverty in a civilised world is an abomination and that no one should ever go without the basics that all humans need. I know that this is a complex issue but I think that simply means more needs to be done. For a reason that isn’t fully formed, I am more affected when I read about how these issues affect children.
I blame the Conservative government for gross negligence over our country right now and I believe in being part of the solution, and so I recently became a member of the Labour Party. I will respect you if we don’t have the same politics, unless you don’t show me the same courtesy. I believe two people can be completely different and yet still be supportive and respecting of one another.
I am a campaigner for ending the stigma related to Mental Health and I have an admiration for those who can live a fairly ‘normal’ life despite having to do so with illnesses that are incredibly difficult to explain and almost impossible to comprehend without having had similar experiences.
I work in HR. I do so because I love people. There was no game plan for me to work in HR. It just happened, and after some time-wasting early in my career I realised that I was quite good at it, and so I learned to love it. I’ve had great mentors who either knowingly or without realising, developed me and to whom I am eternally grateful. However I might not do this forever. Who knows. It’s what I do now and what I can see myself doing for the immediate future, but with a small lottery win, I could see myself instead doing something more creatively, like running my own recording studio, scriptwriting, or making low-budget documentaries.
I believe in HR and I believe we can and should play a critical role in making the workplace better for everyone. I love my job because I love helping people. I love helping resolve people issues and I love implementing good work that helps organisations thrive. This doesn’t mean that I can always achieve what I want or make decisions that keep everyone happy; the world and business is more complicated than that, but I believe in trying.
I believe in lifelong learning and in second chances. I also understand that there are some who can’t be helped in the way we think we know how.
I am excited by the future. I think virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, automation, 3d printing and robotics are all fascinating and world-changing technologies. I can’t wait to see what future this will bring for my son.
I’m far from perfect. I make mistakes. I need to work on some stuff. But I’m also ok with that. I’m human.
I have hope for the future. And I hope this has helped you get to know me.
I don’t know what inspired me to write this tonight, but I’m glad that I did. I know that others have their own strategies for how they manage social media and I respect that entirely, but for me – this is me, and thank you for following me.
Have a great week.