I read somewhere that you can tell a lot about a person—both male and female—by 3 things. The way they keep the inside of their car, their closet, and their microwave. And I have to say that although I never thought about it, I agree. It’s the little things that make a big difference and quite honestly, they also speak the loudest.
Different realm; same aspect…
I also recently read an article which talked about a person's daily life: the professional one vs. the private one.
One of the first things it said: “A person should always keep their office keys separate from their home keys!” True.
Keeping your personal life separate from your professional life is extremely important, even with keys. Your demeanor at work and the one at home are most likely two different people—just like keys—they may look identical but they function differently.
So I started thinking about the ways I’ve tried to keep my personal life separate from my professional life and the times when I actually intermingled both together; my conclusion:
SEPARATE THE TWO & KEEP THEM APART!
I’m not saying true friendships can’t evolve out of a work-base level; it does happen. What I am saying is—usually—that isn’t the case.
Co-workers, for the most part, are in your life because they work with you. How often do you call or text or hangout with someone from work, after hours? Would you invite your co-workers to your wedding? Would they be notified when your baby is born? Would they get an invitation to an important family event or your child's nuptials? Do you vacation together?
((( THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY NO )))
These people are called professionals for a reason—and sure you all may do the occasional fun-lunch, happy hour or Friday night shindig—but that doesn’t mean you should eagerly involve them in your personal life.
And this doesn’t eliminate other aspects in your profession, like EMAIL. It never dawned on me how much of my personal emails intertwined with my work emails until I took PTO and found myself—unintentionally—mixing the two.
Nowadays everything is electronic. In fact, at times, our smartphones are utilized more often than our computers so it isn’t hard to get caught up sending personal and professional emails at the same time. That’s the multi-tasker in us; the nature of the beast. But it has to stop.
It’s bad enough your employer already knows too much of your personal information, don’t voluntarily or accidentally get your personal emails caught up in your work life too.
Privacy at work is non-existent. Remember, anything you write can be read by the company; NO MATTER what they tell you.
And let’s talk SOCIAL MEDIA. It doesn’t matter how close you (think) you are with your co-workers, even your boss, do not accept that friend request.
As much as you’d like to (think) that it’s all in good fun, social media can be more dangerous to your work environment than you will ever know; not because you have anything to hide but because you may become vulnerable to your employer/co-workers. And betrayal—well—let's just say it isn't biased. It can hit you when you least expect it, from the people you least expect; and if that happens—that will be your fault for letting them in.
Your personal life is personal for a reason, keep it that way. And once you leave the office, leave it all, at the office.