How many hats do you wear?

This week I have lost a friend. My best friend actually. It hurts a lot. It’s disappointing. But I have lost her because of her inability to manage various hats I am wearing. Or maybe because of my inability to recognise that not everyone is as clear on those hats as I am? I am not sure. As the way we work starts to change and shift towards multiple jobs, voluntary and commercial commitments and at that point when we actually start to own businesses I think it becomes crucial to understand just how many hats we are wearing. What is private and what is public? What is personal and what is job-relatedWhat is our reputation? To me personally, it does not really matter which of my hats I am wearing – I will strive to achieve all that’s possible to ensure I am fair on people and myself. All my jobs and projects combined contribute to who I am, so I must care for all of them equally. It is not easy to juggle them sometimes but ultimately as long as I am happy with all and each of those – it’s all ok. They all contribute to who I really am. And I think I am pretty open about many of them too.  I have to say that this week I was gutted! I was really upset on a personal level that someone I have trusted with my current state of mind has completely disregarded that and used it selfishly for their own means – business means. As much as I manage to handle all my hats in one box I really find it difficult to cope with people who cannot. I cannot stand rudeness. I cannot stand selfishness. And most of all I really cannot stand ignorance and think inside one’s own box. I was faced with accusations towards my industry from a person who does not work in it. My ethics were questioned by a person who behaved in an unacceptable manner. Finally, all this private conversation was taken online with quotes from personal communication, which is simply low and saddening.:( I found it really, really difficult not to overreact – both in private and in public.  I think (and I was told too) that I managed this entire affair pretty well, yet it made me think…
At the end of the day, I believe that all those dilemmas we face with multiple commitments point towards our own integrity – regardless of hats, spaces or dimensions of our privacy. I know that in my case, in case of this particular person the origin of conflict is more complex than I myself could handle, but for the means of my book I think I really need to investigate just how one learns to embrace their professional commitment and learns to find a balance between the work and private life, the professional online presence and personal one (if there is a distinction at all), between friendship and work.
Tell me – how do you manage multiple hats and how do you handle people questioning your integrity?

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