This Spectre might haunt your office set-up, your writing style, your manner of dress, your interactions with students, your interactions with colleagues, your decisions about how to use social media or whether to blog.
Professionalism is not a bad thing. But sometimes you lose sight of the principles behind professionalism. You focus on details about how other people embody “professional”.
You need to find your personal professional style. It needs to fit with the organizational culture of your specific institution, discipline and department. It also needs to feel comfortable.
An indicator that you might be haunted by this spectre is the word “should”. If you find yourself telling yourself that you “should” be able to work in a certain way or that you “should” be comfortable with a particular way of interacting with students or colleagues, then there is a mismatch between your image of professional conduct and the style that works best for you.
What areas of your life are haunted by the Spectre of Professionalism?