Have I Ruined My Professional Image?

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Injustice anywhere is a threat to jutive everywhere. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the most accepted rule of writing a successful business blog is to only blog about business.  Experts warn professional bloggers never to taint your business bog with your personal life. Experts agree that you should never write about religion, politics, sexuality, and racism or risk alienating potentially lucrative business.  Although I don’t discuss these topics online very often I have written about each of them on this business blog and posted about them on my social media accounts. Have I ruined my professional image?

 

I am an introvert and very private by nature.  I am very selective about what I share and with whom I share my beliefs and the details of my life. There are conversations that I choose not to engage in and if I’m being honest I would follow the experts’ advice and avoid controversial topics completely if I could.  The issue is that sometimes I literally cannot keep quiet.

 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics serves as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. The NASW Code of Ethics includes four sections: Preamble, Purpose, Ethical Principles, and Ethical Standards.

 

From the NASW Preamble: Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation, administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation.

 

NASW Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

 

Sometimes the social worker in me must stand up and speak out for those who are unable to speak for themselves. Not because of the NASW Code of Ethics, but because  I am a woman who finds it hard to ignore what I view as an injustice. I advocate in my everyday life but sometimes I can’t remain quiet electronically. My potential reach on social media is a lot larger than those I encounter in person and when I feel that I need to raise awareness or share an alternative view about a topic that is exactly what I do. I don’t write in haste or anger. My purpose is never to be confrontational or provocative ‘just because’. Because I always choose my words carefully and strive to be respectful, I have never published anything online that I am ashamed of or afraid that a potential client or joint venture partner will see.

 

Like all of us, I am a complex individual.  Some of my views may be considered liberal and others may be considered conservative.  I am open to healthy dialogue and have agreed to disagree with a person on more than one occasion.  Integrity is one of my core values and whomever I choose to do business with should know who I am as a person. I want to know the same about someone I am developing a professional relationship with.  If a person’s views are truly polar opposite to mine or I am strongly against something they believe in it is probably best that we do not work together.

 

Have I ruined my professional image? I don’t believe that I have. I believe that I have put my authentic self in the forefront. If others disagree then they will not connect with me…and I honor their right to exercise that freedom.

 

Happy Birthday Dr. King!!

Nicki Sanders is a cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career development. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.

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