A few days ago The Unreasonablemen posted about their business persona and their social persona with the caveat that “never the twain shall meet”. Buddy Kaila posted today an excellent (hers always are) discussion on similar issues, asking whether one can be oneself at work. I’ve posted in the past saying that I don’t compartmentalize my business and social personae, rather they are parts of the same continuum. I, like Kaila, “might swear with my friends, for example; I wouldn’t on this blog or with my mother-in-law.”

The way I see it is that, more so now than at any time in the past, our social and vocational lives are intertwined – Kaila for example is a colleague (in a loose definition of the word) and a friend. Many of the people I work with are friends as well and clearly I have slightly different aspects of myself that I portray to each of them. But the distinction here isn’t one of work or social, it’s one of appropriateness. In the same way that I wouldn’t deem it appropriate to swear in front of my mother-in-law, I have some workmates whom I would swear with, some not so. The distinction is a contextual and situational one. And this distinction is why Google, and products such as MyWebDNA are so powerful – they allow for individual relevance and context to be provided for.

So to answer your question Kaila, yes, I can be myself at work. And to The Unresaonablemen, once again I say that the compartmentalization of your different personae is artificial and destined to fail.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.


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