You Can’t Divorce Yourself from…Well, Yourself

“I’m just going to leave my work life at work and my home life at home.”

Yes…and no. It’s possible to do this, and for certain occupations — like those in oncology, firefighting, and therapy — you absolutely do want to create a separation between work and home. Bringing that kind of weightiness from work back to the wife and kids is damaging. But I digress. The point is who you are at work bleeds into who you are outside of work and vice versa.

A consultant once told me about a man who thanked him for improving his interpersonal skills at work. Then he went on to say, “after applying what you taught me to my colleagues, I naturally integrated these skills into my marriage almost automatically.” The consultant was ecstatic upon hearing this. He realized his job was so much more than giving executives some good advice. This “good advice” ended up improving communication back at home.

Anecdotes like this remind us why we need to care about the work experience more than ever. The veil that separates work from personal life is oh-so-thin. If we aren’t deliberate about creating healthy systems in which people toil in for 40, 50, 60 hours a week, they will go home to their loved ones negatively affected by broken systems. The test of time will eventually expose facades built up at work, so say goodbye to your counterfeit identities. Let’s aim at becoming holistically consistent beings across the various spheres of our lives because reality suggests you can’t divorce yourself from yourself.