I was on the phone today and caught myself using my “customer service voice.” We all have one – that high pitched, overly polite telephone voice that would make us cringe if we heard a playback. With Halloween approaching, it got me thinking: Do we wear costumes at work? Are we different in our professional life than we are in our personal life?
There is certainly overlap in my professional and personal lives. My teammates are genuinely my friends. So, not only do we talk outside of work, but we talk about “outside of work” things at work. That blurry line has never bothered me. It allows me to be myself all the time, including during the hours of nine to five. I don’t feel the need to put on a “costume” at work to fit into the professional environment. I can come as I am!
So when can the crossover between your work and home life become a bad thing? It’s important to allow the two to collide when you’d like. It’s equally important to keep them separate when you’d like. For me, that means leaving work at work. After hours are my time – not because I’m not hardworking or don’t want to help, but because I can’t come to work 100% me if I don’t have a personal life that’s free from work.
The personal to professional life ratio that works is different for everyone. The important thing is to give both parts space so you don’t need a costume. You can come as you are, too!