By EJ Parfitt

What happens if you have a certain image at work, and then you change that image?  If everyone expects you to be a particular type of person, will they still accept you if you are suddenly different?  Can you be effective in your job if you alter your personal “brand”?

We all change as we go through life, and in many cases those changes can affect the way people see us on the job.  Even someone with a job as unusual as Jersey Shore‘s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has to deal with these issues.  Snooki is pregnant, and the question remains as to how that may affect her career as a reality TV star.  Here are two ways to look at it:

The Pessimist

If you look at the situation from a negative point of view, being pregnant could destroy Snooki’s career.  From this viewpoint, Snooki’s fame is based on being a wild and crazy party girl who takes the freedom of being single to deliciously tacky extremes.  This is what viewers have become used to, and this is what they want to watch.  It won’t be any fun to see her settle down into motherhood.  Pregnancy could ruin Snooki’s “brand.”

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The Optimist

Though there’s no denying the potential ruin of Snooki’s career, there’s another more positive way to look at the situation as well.  It’s possible that it’s mostly Snooki’s personality, rather than her crazy antics, that keeps viewers interested.  If that’s the case, then Snooki’s pregnancy won’t stop her from continuing to be a star.  If people watch her because they feel they can relate to her, then they will be eager to see what will happen next in this new phase of her life.  Her pregnancy and motherhood could even give the show a boost for viewers who were becoming tired of the endless partying.

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What’s true for Snooki is true for everyone.  You don’t need to have satellite TV providers beaming your life story across the world in order to think about your personal “brand.” The key is to make your brand about the things that will last throughout your lifetime, such as your personality, intelligence and skills, not about the things that will change, such as being young, single and childless.

If your image at work is based on being cute and perky, think about the traits you have that will last over the long haul.  If you’re a partier like Snooki or a young rebel, realize that you are likely to make a transition to a calmer and more stable stage of life eventually.  Don’t put all your career eggs in the basket of who you are right now.  Hook people on your long-lasting qualities and abilities, and you’ll be able to use life’s changes to your advantage.  You don’t need to be a Guidette to learn this lesson from Snooki.

Tech writer EJ Parfitt has been writing for a short time now and has already picked up steam with several tech and sports sites.  During his free time , you’re sure to catch him competing in local chess tournaments in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida.