Recently a well know recruitment firm got widespread media attention for all the wrong reasons when a group of their staff partied harder than Charlie Sheen on a weekend away. It was not a company event, and the people involved were on ‘their own time’ and yet the reputation of their employer, and themselves has been significantly damaged. So it raises the question, do I need to consider my employer and my personal brand even when I’m not at work? To me, the answer is YES! The role of a recruiter (and countless other professions) is all about relationships. In our line of work, reputation and personal brand is everything. It takes years to build and unfortunately not long at all to ruin.
So whilst you don’t necessarily need to be looking for business opportunities as you go about your leisure activities (although many of the best recruiters I know do), you do need to make sure you don’t do anything that will undo all the hard work you and your colleagues have put in, often over years. If you are out socialising with colleagues consider whether your behaviour would deter someone from engaging you or your company professionally.
Singing 80s tunes off key at the top of your voice - probably OK. Abusing staff, being aggressive or trashing accommodation – not on. I get that colleagues become friends and the lines between personal and professional with inevitably blur (I did marry my colleague after all!) but I’d encourage everyone to bear their personal reputation, and that of their employer in mind when out on the town. Have fun without the fall out – happy days!