Building a Strong Professional Identity
    About Lesson

    What about your “online” identity?

    In this day and age, if an employer or business partner wants to know who you are, they are probably going to “Google” you. This is something that you need to think through while you are still in training team mode because if you want to “clean things up” then this will take some time. Here are some thoughts below to think about:

    • Governments know who you are and what you are up to. If we think we can fool them then really we are the ones being foolish. The main reason that a government might get involved is if you are embarrassing them publicly. The internet is very public so we just need to be respectful.
    • The reason most workers don’t want their names splashed all across the internet in connection with the word “missionary” or “missions” is because of the radical folks that might “Google” them and then try to earn some extra celestial points by taking them out.

    Practical steps to clean up your online identity:

    • “Google” your name with the word “missionary” or “missions” next to it. You can even add your spouse’s name as well as try the country you a serving in.
    • If a web page or video link comes up, click on it and then copy the link.
    • Write the church or person associated with the website and have them take down the link. It might take 3-6 months before it stops showing up on Google searches. (Remember, it is archived forever so if someone really wants to find it they can but for most normal folks this is good enough. https://archive.org/)
    • If churches really want to put something about you online, have them use just your last name and a general region of the world. For example: The Robertsons serving in North Africa. Then, have them use a picture that is representative of that region and not your picture.
    • You can even create web pages that are neutral and that people can find. In this day and age it is almost weird if no one can find you. So, give them web pages that they can find. You can then control the content on those pages.
    • Every 6 months or so, “Google” yourself again. It is a process of training your supporters and churches that you are just trying to be wise.

    REMEMBER:

    We do not want to live under the yolk of fear. We want our Christian Witness to be evident to all. We are not trying to be “James Bond” or “Special Agents”. However, we do want to be wise because there is a small minority that can use that information to slow down our work. 

    Final Thoughts:

    • It is also good to have a professional email address that you can use when emailing secular companies and entitles.
    • Work on creating a resume / CV that will be effective for the region of the world that you plan to serve in.
    • Talk to other workers who have more experience to get ideas from them as you shape you philosophy.
    • Remember that everyone you work with probably has a little different stance on this than you so be respectful and non-judgemental.
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