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Are you ready to get ‘profersonal’?

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Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Social Media and author of Super ­Staying Power and How to Self-Destruct: Making the Least of What’s Left of Your Career. We recently spoke to him about how personal branding is changing the dynamics of the workforce, including for administrative professionals.

APT: You coined the term “profersonal” to describe the way our personal and professional lives intersect. Tell us what you mean by that?

Seiden: We’ve had this delusion in business that our personal and professional lives were separate. They’re not. Profersonalism is about letting go of the idea that we can put our lives into neat little boxes. It’s about categorizing activities instead of people: Activities can be personal or professional. People are profersonal.

APT: What does that mean in the context of an administrative professional’s career?

Seiden: Profersonalism will be a rude awakening for someone who thought he could treat an assistant like garbage and get away with it as long as he was nice to the boss. It’s going to be a breath of fresh air for an executive assistant who has long managed an exec’s social calendar along with her work schedule.

APT: How do they balance the need to develop their personal brand with their responsibility to support their boss’s brand?

Seiden: This doesn’t change from the current reality many executive assistants (EA) live in. But it does make things a bit more complex because of the transparency social media creates around the EA’s world. Ironically, while the rest of the world integrates their worlds, EAs need to be prepared to put up some walls and more clearly define themselves as separate from their bosses. Either that, or throw all in and make sure communications are in lock step!

APT: If an administrative professional participates in only one social network, what should it be?

Seiden: Generally, I have a slight preference for LinkedIn over Facebook or Twitter. But really, the im­­portant thing is to just be consistent!

APT: What’s your favorite piece of advice for an admin who wants to make the most of LinkedIn?

Seiden: Don’t be too cute. It’s really tempting to want to break out from corporate beige with lots of photos of your dachshund or motivational quotes, but save it for Pinterest. LinkedIn is about getting people to the information they need as quickly as possible. Say what you do as if you were writing for an exec at a client organization, use the Amazon Reading List plugin to share a book that you’re reading and then call it a day.

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