In today’s digital era, constant connectivity to work, friends, and world news is simply assumed. The advent of social media and the smart phone have created a culture of instant information. Every minute we’re inundated with industry updates, ever-changing career opportunities, and work problems that need our attention. While the deluge of information has its benefits, studies prove that often, connectivity harms career productivity and personal brand. Regardless of whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or searching for a new career, it helps to unplug after work.
How Being Too Available Harms Your Career
Pop culture stigmatizes business executives for being constantly available at the expense of their personal lives. With the ease of answering phone calls, responding to emails, and solving problems via social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap. Developing your online presence allows you to network within your industry and refine your personal brand, but despite the expectations of digitally focused leadership teams, logging into work accounts after office hours may negatively impact your career. Responding to job offers, employee complaints, or corporate problems late at night undermines your professional value. It sends the signal that your personal time is worth little, that you’re unable to relinquish control, and that you’re unpracticed at delegating responsibility. To project an image of competence and personal value, keep all non-essential career decisions within their allotted timeframe.
Smartphones: Productivity in Decline
It comes as no surprise that over-connectivity undercuts productivity. Distractions like Facebook, Netflix, and smartphone apps keep many entry-level employees from reaching their career potential. But the digitalization of the working world presents another opportunity for misstep: working too much. Constant availability doesn’t just undermine your personal brand: staying plugged-in all day has psychological ramifications as well. Executives without clearly defined personal time get bogged down in the minutiae of the office, making them more likely to miss something vital. Career hunters who don’t structure their time become frustrated with the job search, reducing their chance of finding career success. Failure to separate work life from home life deteriorates personal connections, creating a circle of ever increasing career connectivity. CEOs who take regular personal time return to the job more capable of creativity, productivity, and problem solving.
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