Professional vs. Personal Identity

“How do you present yourselves differently to different people (offline)? Admissions counselor/guidance counselor, teacher, a grandparent, a cousin, your parents, new roommate, job interview”

A personal identity and professional identity vary for obvious reasons, the main reason being that of the work force. A professional identity is one that is under constant scrutiny by other colleagues and the boss. Maintaining a professional appearance at all times is crucial to maintaining a stable work environment. However, with our various online identities, the lines between personal and professional can often blend.

One would consider Facebook to be of the private social media and LinkdIn to be that of the professional, however, recently employers are starting to look at how one’s identity is portrayed online. Employers, along with colleges, are looking at more personal identities online, in order to accurately “judge” a person. This is based on the ideology of how one will represent themselves along with that company or college.

How one alters their identity, offline, is simply based on who their audience is. It is similar to that of an online identity, being that it is constantly evolving, and often is only prevalent when around a certain audience. A person will change, not only their behavior, but also their appearance when dealing with an audience that is outside of their peer group. For example, when dealing with a teacher, one will restrict the usage of slang and most likely talk in a professional manner. If the meeting is scheduled, one might dress up to a more dressier casual attire. If one is dealing with their relatives, one might dress in a more conservative, yet relaxed attire, and still limit the use of slang. If one is with their roommate, they would be considered a peer meaning the behavior would not be as limited. If one was in a job interview, no slang would be present, business attire would be the dress code, and a professional manner would be in place.

Our identities are completely dependent upon who we are with. Even though one, such as relatives, would be considered to be apart of our social life, our behaviors would still differ from that of when we are with our peers.