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Connecting with the Boss

Do you have a question about careers? Email Diane at diane@thelyfexperience.com.

Q. I work for a large corporation and recently, my boss, a control freak requested that we connect on LinkedIn.  I wondered if he wanted to spy on me but worried that if I didn’t accept, he would think I had something to hide so I accepted. 

I am starting to look for another job in my industry and would like to connect with people in companies I am targeting.  My boss is very well known in this industry and has hundreds of connections including some who I want to connect with.  I know that my connections are notified when I connect with others and I don’t want my boss to know who I am connecting with.  Should I disconnect with him and deal with his questioning me or stay connected and deal with his discovering who I am connecting with?  What should I do?

A. This is a difficult time to search for another job but if your situation is intolerable, then you should proceed with caution.  The good news is that if you choose to disconnect from your boss on LinkedIn, he will not be notified.  Your boss will only discover your disconnection if he searches for your name among his hundreds of connections. 

I suggest that you disconnect with your boss in order to comfortably connect with those you wish to target and that you adjust your settings to limit what people who are not in your network can view in your profile.  I doubt that your boss spends much time researching your movements on LinkedIn but if he does discover the change, you can simply state that you are not comfortable connecting with your superiors or that you are choosing to only connect with peers.  He may not like the fact that he can’t control your actions and I hope he will not take it out on you in the workplace. I wish you all the best in your job search.

Diane Young of Fair Lawn is a certified empowerment coach whose practice, The LYF Experience focuses on relationship and career transition coaching. LYF stands for Love Yourself First and her clients achieve success through personal development. Diane is also the founder of The Unemployed Optimists, a networking and support group for people in transition. Contact her at 201-791-5241 or diane@thelyfexperience.com.

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