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Blurred lines - Is there a difference between personal you and business you?

And should there be?   Lets cover just two aspects, Facebook and dress code.

Business men typically have two very distinct wardrobes, work and play.   Men in business roles simply do not wear shorts and a t-shirt to the office.

 Women have taken a very different approach in the last 10 or so years.   There is an increasingly blurred line between what women consider business and informal dress.   Recently, I was at a business meeting where some of the women were wearing halter neck dresses with bra straps clearly on display.  Another was wearing a dress, with the neckline cut like a bikini top.

Did they look pretty?  Yes, they really did.   Was it work appropriate?   And this is where the blurred line starts to become fuzzier.   My response is a definite No.    It is not that I think that women need to wear suits every day to the office, but I do think that there should be a distinction between what is business wear  and what works for your personal life.

Adding social networking to this, should you share your Facebook page with colleagues?   Why not?   I suppose you need to decide whether your boss needs to know what you did over the weekend.   Personal privacy is another very blurred line, because we are sharing information with the internet that we never used to tell our best friends.

This doesn't mean that you can't be vulnerable and real with your work colleagues, just that you need to be aware.    There are people who can get away with anything, and still climb the career ladder, but the vast majority of us need to build up a positive performance history and a professional image to rise through the ranks.

Its not hypocritical to have a work persona and a personal one. Very few of us behave in the same way in all of our relationships.   Your parents, your spouse, your children, siblings and friends probably see different sides of you, as do your boss and colleagues.

 Its a little like "dress for the job you want, and not the one you have".   Creating a genuine, professional business personality takes hard work and dedication to the job.

So my answer is that the lines are a little blurred, but I remember that there is one!

Links, Notes and References

Accsys PeoplePlace Recruitment


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