Dresser & Associates

The Professional Identity Crisis

Are you a different person during the work week? Do you assume an alternate persona as soon as the weekend hits? If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.

This past week I attended a Social Media breakfast that got me thinking about this topic and how it affects your professional life.

It is expected that you carry on a professional attitude in the office, but when Friday arrives you like to let loose a little. You’ve earned it. You have worked hard and completed your tasks for the week, and in most cases, letting your hair down is a good thing. Recreation and relaxation are vital to success and keeps employees from becoming burnt out or overworked.

However, and this is a big however, it is important to separate your two personas. It is not always a good idea to intermingle the two, especially if there is an extreme contrast. In this age of social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – your life is on display for the world to see. It is very easy for employers to hop onto Facebook to do a little “background check”. And, believe me, they do check. Why wouldn’t they? It is an all access pass to your life and your behaviors. It can set you apart from the competition… and not always in a good way.

Take this into consideration when you are posting those not so appropriate photos or making a less than flattering comment about your previous employer. It matters, and it reflects very poorly.

Be sure to set proper privacy settings on Facebook and only post information that would be appropriate for all viewers that visit your profile. Use work-appropriate usernames or create work-only accounts.

So go out and have a good time with your friends and family, just don’t broadcast it to the general public. It could cost you your job.

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