I have written about the importance of having an outside email address before.
Chris Brogan wrote about email and why he cannot contact so many people today for a different reason, but it is just one more good point.
Being a business owner with employees, I can understand both sides of this equation.
Business Owners want to own the relationships that you develop on the clock. If you leave, they still want to have access to your netword, the things you did for them on the web, etc.
If you are in sales, that is really important. If you are not, then you can argue it is none of their business.
So here is the thing. You should talk to clients, team members and vendors via your business email.
You should have a Gmail or Yahoo email account for newsletters, signing up for free services, etc.
And you should have your own domain and email (or a different free email) for connection with people through social media, family, building your personal network, etc.
Consider what happens in the following situations
- You are fired – They are probably going to go through your company email.
- You are laid off – You can no longer access your company email, which could have many connections that can help you get a new job.
- You quit – Did you remember to get all your contacts out of your email?
- Your company goes out of business – email is simply gone. You cannot access accounts you set up with that email address as the approval email.
- Liability – You may be just talking to a personal friend, but you could still be making the company liable for what you say if it is via the company email.
Go read Broagan’s article. Think about the value of having a relationship (even lightly) with someone that has influence, like him. And now he cannot reach you.