On Work - Personal vs. Professional

Look, it's important to remember that as a person who is also a brand we should be somewhat self-aware. Maybe it's part of being an adult, but without a filter on our words we would be in trouble more often than not. To put it another way, we don't always have to share everything we're thinking. But that's the problem now with the likes of Twitter and Facebook always at a fingers length beckoning us to share every little thought that pops in our head. It's overrated.

But it's more than just what we say, or don't say, online. It's how we learn to separate our personal feelings from our professional behavior. Some of the hardest lessons I've had to learn have been in a meeting with a client who either a. doesn't like anything I've created, or worse, b. keeps changing their mind over and over again. That is bound to wear on anyone's patience. But, as professionals, we are held to a higher standard when we sit down with our clients. It's about them, not us. We are here for them.

However, some might argue that our profession is not one of service. I'm not totally convinced either way. I feel like it's a mix of both. In a service industry one is paid to perform a duty to the customers request. They live and die by the creed, "The Customer is Always Right." But, for us, the visual design is merely an outward expression of a deeper purpose taking place. As professionals, we are hired not only for our aesthetics and execution, but also for our experience and ability to educate our clients. So while we may not always agree that our clients are always right, we don't need to rub their faces in it.

Then how do we hold true to who we are in our profession? I think it' an easy answer, just be yourself. Well, I guess it's easier said than done. But I think it's similar to dating, the quicker you stop trying to impress someone and just be yourself the quicker you will know if the other person sitting across the table is a good match. And so it is with a client, not every client is a good fit. But if we are too busy acting like someone we're not, then we might not like where we find ourselves after we land the job. So I'll say it again, just be yourself. Some may like it, and some may not, but at the end of the day you know who you are.