Tag Archives: Personal Relationships

The Blurred Line

Having about six months of work experience under my belt, I’ve gotten to attend a handful of professional events. Most were conferences at hotels that lasted several days. The atmosphere at these conferences can be more relaxed than when working in the office. This environment coupled with the prospect of free alcohol, causal dress and music can be a bit dangerous.

Most people understand that they are at a work function and maintain a level of professionalism. But after attending some of these events, it’s easy to see how the line between personal and professional can be blurred quite quickly. I’ve met some amazing individuals while working and connected with them on both a personal and professional level. While I do consider some of them friends and sounding boards, there is still a line I’m not willing to cross like at a work event.

cross_lineIn my opinion, drinking helps to cloud your judgement and make you forget that you are actually at work with colleagues and superiors. However, alcohol consumption is not the only way to cross the personal/professional line. Over-sharing personal information, using foul language and busting an inappropriate dance move can all contribute to a loss in credibility. As a younger professional, that is the last thing I want to do. But I’ll admit, it was hard in California to remember I was working and not on vacation. We were at a great location, in casual clothing and had the opportunity to relax after working all day. One could easily get caught up in all of that.

Based off my experience at these conferences, here are a few tips I thought of to maintain the personal/professional balance:

1. If you drink, know your limits. I’m a fan of alternating: one drink then one glass of water.Work Husband

2. Dress causal but still appropriately. No ripped jeans or cut-offs. If your grandmother would be embarrassed seeing you in a certain outfit, don’t wear it.

3. If you want to have a personal conversation, do it away from the rest of the team and more importantly, away from attendees.

4. Schedule time outside of work to meet and catch up with work friends. It will be more fun that way!

When working onsite events, it is especially easy to unwind too much and forget you’re at work. No one is saying don’t build friendships at work or celebrate with your work friends. But there is a time and a place for that. A work event is about the attendees, not the onsite team. I’m grateful that my team set high standards onsite this past week. It absolutely helped me maintain my professionalism.

Family Fridays: The F Word

Again, my apologies for the lack of posts this week. I was in Chicago for work and just didn’t have enough time. Expect a few posts about my time in Chicago next week! I decided to combine my Family Friday post with the 30 Days of Truth Challenge. Today’s prompts are:

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

For me, the word forgiveness is the ultimate “F” word. It has never been easy for me to forgive people and let things go. Looking around, it isn’t all that easy for my family members or friends. In my opinion, the problem lies in expectations. Most of the people in my life have high even unrealistic expectations for one another. When that’s the case, the only way to go is down.

I must forgive myself for having high expectations. Too often, I set up these insanely high expectations for people and place them on a pedestal. When you regard someone so highly, the only way they can go is down. Within the last year, most of the people in my life have disappointed me and not met my expectations…because what I expected was just too much. I learned that building people up will only cause them to eventually fall down. I need to forgive myself for being unrealistic and in some instances, letting myself get SO caught up in that disappointment that I ruined a relationship. This is yet another example of a part of my life that needs more balance.

There’s a pretty long list of people I need to forgive. Instead of naming names (which would become a giant headache), I’ll give you a general example. As my good friend Niki pointed out in her blog today, I tend to put everyone else’s happiness before my own. Like I’ve said before, I really enjoy helping and investing in people. Sometimes, people take advantage of that. To those people, I forgive you for walking all over me and for taking advantage. That being said, I wouldn’t ever change what I did for those people. I just wish the relationship had been more mutually beneficial.

It’s especially hard for me to strike a balance of expectations and selflessness with my family. These are the people who are most important to me, so naturally I’d do anything for them. Over time, I’ve learned that family lets you down and expecting nothing will ultimately lead to less disappointment. It’s been hard for me to accept that certain members won’t rise to the occasion or sacrifice for me. True, you don’t do things to be repaid. But, it’s nice sometimes for others to go out of their way for you when you have for them.

I tend to forgive but never really do forget things that happened. Add this to the list of goals I have for 2013: to let more things go, especially insignificant occurrences. As cliché as it is, life is simply too short.

Is there anyone you need to forgive? Have expectations played a role in your personal relationships? Please share!

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