Personal and Professional Mistakes: There Is No Line

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Posted October 8, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand

When you leave the office, you leave behind your desk and your job description and enter into your personal world. But you don’t leave behind your mistakes in either world, or your blunders. The time of complete separation of personal and professional is long gone, and today, we find that your mistakes outside work can reflect inside and vice versa.

PersonalBrandingBlog.com recently published “Mistakes of a Lifetime” and hits the nail on the head with this:

Personal blunders can compromise our careers and there is no doubt that career flops can hurt our private lives to the point of ruining our dearest relationships and our mental and physical health as well. The philosopher Spinoza argued back in the XVIIth century that should we have perfect knowledge of all the causes and effects in the Universe, we would understand that everything is connected and there is no such thing as free will. And yet we live our lives under the illusion (can we live fully any other way?) that we are free to choose and fully responsible for our failures.

Know, without a doubt, that everything in your life is connected. What you do outside of work, especially in the world of social media, reflects heavily on your reputation in the office. And what you do in the office can trickle out into your personal life. It happens more and more. Knowing this, here are a few common mistakes to avoid that might “cross over.”

  • Complaining about work on social media and via email. You never know who might copy and forward that email or text message to a colleague or superior. Keep complaints to yourself.
  • Bringing your personal issues to work. Your boss shouldn’t hear about what’s going on in your personal life in the way of complaints or annoyances. If your relationship is in trouble or you’re feeling upset about a friend issue, don’t bring it with you to work.
  • Photographic evidence. These days, there is someone taking your photo all the time. Keep above board and ensure nothing you do is being photographed that might be a mistake later on. This includes but is not limited to photos with beer cans, kegs, and anything with your underwear showing.

Personal and professional lines are blurred now more than ever. Watch them closely, especially when mistakes are being made.


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is the author of "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works" and a career expert who believes in order to be empowered in your career, you must be surrounded with resources and a network that both supports and challenges you. Marcy began her own networking journey as a professional fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, honed those skills as a fundraising consultant, and in 2012 networked her way to nearly 1 million readers as the CEO of the professional development website Career Girl Network.

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