The work/personal identity divide

I’ve been so behind on the 30 day blog challenge here, but I have a good excuse, I think! I’ve been writing a lot for The Learned Fangirland for other places so I feel like I am getting my writing in, but for other places. I wanted to write a bit about an article I read on Inc.com the other day about things employers should not do to their employees. First on the list was forced socializing. As a freelancer, I feel a lot freer to talk about my feelings on this matter more than I did, but it’s still not easy. It’s hard to say “hey I don’t like mandatory socializing or revealing too much of my personal life at work” because it immediately makes you come off as a jerk, or not a team player. I actually love working in teams, and I am collaborative by nature. Everything from TLF to my band to the work I do in social strategy is part of some kind of team and I love it. I also have very close friends that I met from my office life.

But… I am also an introvert, and having time and space to cultivate ideas before I share them is super important to me. But also, being able to be free to have an identity and interests that aren”t built into my work is important too. The music that I do is something I want to keep separate from my work, it’s a side of me that I am happy to let people know about but, as with most people, you want to have a opportunity to be a side of yourself you can’t be at work.

I am glad that this conversation is starting to happen more in public and among employers and managers. There’s such a push to create a certain type of work environment and collaboration and camaraderie doesn’t always have to happen over beers and ping pong or after 5 p.m. And you can create great work without forcing people to be BFF’s in the workplace. When it’s right, it happens naturally.

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