It turns out that I, and so many others, bring our work personalities and skills home with us when maybe we should be less, well, work-oriented around our family.
“People accomplished so much professionally but struggle to stay connected at home,” Brené Brown wrote in The Washington Post’s On Leadership blog. Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, blogged recently that professionals often unknowingly fail to turn off the instincts that serve them well at work.
“As someone who is intimately familiar with overachieving, I recognize the angst behind the questions I hear from men and women who have accomplished so much professionally but struggle to stay connected personally,” Brown wrote. “Questions ranging from ‘Why am I so engaged at work, yet I feel increasingly disconnected from my wife and children?’ to ‘How do I turn off the self-critical instincts that serve me as a leader?’ I don’t want to be that kind of mother.”
Many employees put on certain armor before heading into work, but peeling off the armor when they get home is hard.
“This emotional armor we bring to work is heavy, and the weaponry takes a long time to assemble, so when we get home in the evenings, we don’t put it away,” Brown wrote. “It’s too much trouble, and, frankly, it’s too risky. Home can also be a place where performing and perfecting are expected.”
Does this sound like you?
For this week’s Color of Money question: Do you have trouble turning off the “work you” when you get home? Send your responses to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, city and state. Put “Working at Home” in the subject line.
Baby On Board -- Bye-Bye, Job?
If you’re pregnant, when is the right time to let a potential new employer know you’re expecting? This was a recent question posed to The Washington Post @Work Advice columnist Karla Miller.
“I am in the early stages of a job search and in the early stages of pregnancy,” the reader wrote. “I don’t want to start a job with the perception that I was deceptive, but I don’t want to give potential employers grounds for discrimination, even if they do not intend to discriminate.”
It would be easy to tell this woman to be truthful, but the situation is “a complicated algorithm of legal, practical and ethical issues, and there’s no one right solution,” Miller said.
In the end Miller provided two courses of action:
-- Keep the pregnancy secret while you “discreetly gauge how mommy-friendly the place is and how well it could absorb your absence.”
-- Tell the employer after you get an offer. “There’s no guarantee the offer won’t somehow be withdrawn,” Miller said. “But if the employer says, ‘No problem, when can you start?’ Make sure you spend your pre-maternity-leave months earning goodwill as a star performer.”