Some of you are cringing, I can tell. Some of you are “pffff“-ing thinking that they have all figured it out, as for example “I keep my personal, personal!” or “I keep my professional and my personal lives separate. Period.”
In my article Authenticity Online, I write about the matching of our virtual personalities and the real ones, which extends also a little to the professional personality, as when colleagues are present in our social networks spaces, or sometimes the “boss” makes his/her appearance, knowing what we are up to.
Let me tell you what I think:
1. The Professional You and the Personal You is still the same exact person. This, however is not equal to merge your professional life with you personal one. Those are still separate, and that way they should stay.
2. Be Professional. When we pronounce the “professional” word, we should bear in mind that it is not merely the job or the profession we are talking about. It also means staying strictly professional.
Even though I might feel frustrated with my coworkers or with my boss as well, I don’t go to my profile on Facebook, posting a nasty statement about the people I work with. And for the record, my boss is not a friend of mine on Facebook, so theoretically speaking he wouldn’t find out, but that’s not the point really.
I can’t agree with everyone or bring myself to like everyone, it works the same with all of us. I will have to digest my frustration, be professional and work it out somehow, constructively. There is no need to stuff my personal life with unnecessary imported negativity from work. Don’t you agree?
I have failed in this point, however and I admit it. A couple of weeks ago I posted on my blog, something about a coworker. I am still struggling to keep my calm with her, and stay professional, focusing only on facts strictly work performance related, polishing my emails. If you read my post, maybe just maybe you can understand what I mean.
3. Integrity. A word in common with the professional and the personal you. You are probably listing others too. Good. The professional you and the personal you, need to know what it means and meet the criteria. There is no set of standards at work and a different and I stress, conflicting one at home. If there is such clash, you need to recheck the lists, one of them or even both.
4. Principles. They build the path you choose. Every single day you make the choice to follow them, to add some more or to change them. Guess what? The professional you and the personal you have the same principles, don’t they?
5. Secrets. Do you have something to hide? We all do, at some point, it doesn’t mean it’s something bad. And it doesn’t mean you are not being true to yourself, whichever self we are referring to, because they are the same, right? As long as your personal details do not negatively affect your well-being, your emotional state, your professional you will still be safe.
So what do you think? How do you style your approach or behavior?