This weekend, I had a GREAT weekend. But I was seen in rare form. A form that has been seen only a few times since college. I was out, had drinks, and enjoyed my bachelor party. I was on social media under the hashtag #D3sLastHurrah. Does that clash with my professional brand? Well, not really. See, everyone, even the POTUS, has times where going out and having an awesome time is necessary and acceptable.
I used to be afraid to show the social aspects of my life. But these days, I realize that people want to work with someone who is human. Now, does that mean I go out and do body shots at strip clubs? Of course not. That’s not my style. But going out to a nice lounge and having drinks with my bestman and close friends? It shows that I’m not a robot that goes around discussing professional development all the time. Or, another dimension of my life that is very prevalent is my relationship. Everyone knows that I’m in love with a wonderful woman named Desirée Bell. That is a part of my brand that will always come with me. So are my fraternity brothers. There are certain things about your brand that are non-negotiable and, if people don’t know that up front, you’re going to have a hard time injecting them after people begin working with you.
At my interview for my current job, I brought up my fraternity (one of the ladies interviewing me knew one of my big brothers) and my engagement (when I was asked if I had any pending trips, I mentioned my honeymoon). Those are components of my brand that, though they are not my focus when at work, do play a role in my life. My fraternity meets on monthly on Saturday so there are some work events that I may be late for. My wife-to-be will always be my priority so they needed to know that. But, as I said, if those who you work with know how multi-faceted your life is, there shouldn’t be any surprises.
I came back to work today and my boss said “Is your head still spinning?” Of course, it isn’t but he knew that I would “responsibly” enjoy the weekend. And I did. But I’m here today looking great and working hard.