I guess this is a fundamental difference between our perceptions of reality. You see, I'm always a professional accountant. No matter where, when or what I'm doing - I represent my field. Therefore, I am acutely aware of the impact my words and actions have.
I find this very interesting because as somebody who doesn't identify with any group for any reason I don't feel this way at all. In my view, people who bring their professional identification with them everywhere they go run the risk of offering their professional services where they are neither needed nor appreciated. I'm sure all of us have met one of those medical professionals who can't get through a meal with friends without lecturing everybody on how bad their food choices are for their health. Or insurance agents who approach everybody at a party to ask whether they have enough insurance.However, I would like to hear from my readers on this subject. Do you feel responsible for the image of your profession? Do you feel that you represent it wherever you go? Are you sometimes afraid your actions might reflect poorly on the profession at large? Or that a colleague's actions might make people think less of you as a representative of the profession?
Help out an identity-challenged person (me!) and share your experiences in this area.