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Personal vs Professional

Professional. Respect, credibility, and mobility all rely on your ability to be professional. Your level of discipline and pedagogy in your desired field of choice will ultimately propel you to new heights. The question is how professional are you willing to be in environments that don't perpetuate or invite your professional characteristics. Despite the atmosphere, the environment, the colleagues/co-workers/classmates you are expected to remain professional at all times. The conflict is that some events or situations that happen may cause you to instinctively act "out of character". It burns my toast to say it but... Try to avoid making yourself look unstable or unable to handle your "emotions" if you will. That's just it though. Don't your emotions make you human? Aren't you supposed to put your heart and soul into the career that you love? Emotions are tied to the person which in turn makes things "Personal". So the ultimate dialogue is where do we draw the line between professional and personal life? When is it deemed appropriate to "Be yourself"?

Personal. This term is directly related to the "Person" physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Your personal feelings and values define who you are. Your personal thoughts allow you to fight for what you believe and defend what you think deserves justice. You personally are your own individual and this can sometimes be stifled by the place in which you work or go to school. Learning professionalism vs personalizing is important. It creates healthy boundaries with your life and can possibly be the force that works for or against you. Think of your self from the consumer lens. Whatever you purchase, whatever services you have rendered, whatever investment you make you expect a level of professionalism with the business or parties involved. But also in business there is a strong level of personal connection because "bad business" does exist. In every line of work there are different expectations and you have to gauge what your personal and professional boundaries are. I just encourage you to work in an environment that you are free to express yourself personally and professionally. While you may not always be received or agreed with, at least you are provided the capacity to "express".

Dear Students,

There are a lot of things people won't tell you for your first job, internship, co-op etc. There are things of the working world that you are just expected to know as a young professional. Take the advice of your mentors and have a resume critiqued. Take a workshop on professional dress. In the corporate world there are unverbalized guidelines that you may be judged by. Is it fair? Nope. Does it happen? Yes. Always remember that you don't have to submit to the norm for eternity but you do have to begin somewhere. Ultimately your goal may be to earn from your own company. Remember that you will have humble beginnings if you aren't the small percentage of students who are born into wealth and//or fame. Feel free to chat with me about any and every career question possible. I want you to know the scoop and also learn through trial and error. Most importantly keep going, keep learning and keep growing.

-Dean Felder

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