Have you ever wondered if the people you work with act the same when they clock out as they do when they’re at work? Likewise, should our behavior and personality be the same in public as it is behind closed office doors?
The real question is: Should there be two standards of behavior: one at work and one in your personal life?
There are certain professions that require employees to keep their personal and work lives separate. Other people might be hesitant to carry over their personal behavior to their work place as a way of preserving the balance they think is necessary. If you are going to be able to show your true self, your employer must demonstrate that they value unique personalities. Only then can employees safely merge their personal and professional behavior without the fear of failing or getting in trouble.
The power of social media cannot be ignored in this day and age. With countless apps, programs, and new technology, we are sending and consuming data all day long. Work behaviors and personal behaviors often merge. We bring our work to our home and we make our peers, clients, and bosses part of our daily lives. Adults who are employed full-time report working an average of 47 hours per week, which equates to nearly six full workdays a week, according to Gallup. That’s about an hour and a-half per day more than was reported a decade ago. Nearly four in 10 workers report logging more than 50+ hours on the job per week.
What statistics like this demonstrate is that our work life often merges with our home life. Sometimes it’s hard to keep our jobs away from our living room.
However, blending your professional and personal brand creates transparency. Transparency creates trust and trust is a foundation of all relationships. Transparency also allows for open communication. Chuck Gallagher, author of “Second Chances, Transforming Adversity into Opportunity,” writes that “by being transparent about the reality of who we are and our experiences, we give permission to other people to do the same.”
Connecting with your boss, coworkers, or clients on a social level can improve communication in your professional relationships as well. It can also enhance how your manager perceives you. In fact, your personal connections and work relationships will thrive when you allow yourself to open up and connect with your peers on a deeper level.
Many companies look to social platforms to get a sense of your personality before they even hire you. One might think the reason they do so is to make sure your personality will fit within the office culture. Yet, according to the marketing agency Russel Herder, only 21 percent of employees are Facebook friends with their work supervisors. Of that, 53 percent say they used the social platform to communicate in a professional context. Russel Herder also revealed that 46 percent of employees initiated the friend requests, while 38 percent came from the supervisors.
Why do we keep the illusion of hiding the “true self” as protection from connecting with those that we interact with in a professional setting? And why do we present different personalities when we communicate with different audiences?
The personality that we show is what people remember when we leave the room. Keeping our personal brand consistent by blending our professional and personal behavior makes our persona honest across all channels of life.
“Your brand isn’t your resume, it should reflect facets of your personality, not just job-oriented stuff.”
Your personal behavior, just like your professional behavior, will morph and change over time. Melding these behaviors together can be challenging, but it can also give you authority, legitimacy, and confidence where you least expect it.
Part of your professional persona relies on your ability to create and organize content to showcase your value. Your contribution, attitude, and overall behavior impacts the way you are perceived at your work place. You also create and curate content to engage in your personal life. Based on what you value, what interests you, and what ignites your passions, you are able to connect with those who matter to you. “Don’t separate business and personal.” writes community manager and TEDx Speaker Eric Melin. “No one wants to interact with a company stooge.”
Everything you share, post, or respond to—whether it is happening in a personal environment or at work—is building your brand. When your brand is authentic and honest, it’s easy to balance the two personas and doing so will come naturally. Stay consistent to your values, beliefs, and goals and you’ll discover it’s easy to create transparency in your personal brand.
At Carpool, we believe transparency is key to successful communication. We understand that the line between personal and professional worlds is slowly fading away. We use it as leverage for more honest and open collaboration. We are here to help you build your personal brand, the brand that will allow you to communicate more effectively with passion and purpose. We work to understand your pain points, challenge the way you do work, and help you come up with a strategy that will improve and strengthen your personal brand.