Dr Jeckell and Mr Hyde.. or more millennial… THE HULK.. Are we the same beast at work and at home?


Am I a different person at work and at home? Should I be? Isn’t being me the thing I do best?

At the start of my career I used to laugh at some girls in my office, who had an official phone voice….. you know the types, they would be talking to you normally, the phone would ring and then the voice would lower, their vocabulary would dramatically increase and the IQ would seem 20% higher. I could never understand it… why not be yourself? It is easier right?

Probably, but also probably not effective.

I’m not sure what happened to make me think about this question again, but something did and it has been burning inside for a little while. And then I had to ask myself the question… am I different at home, than what I am at home? You know what? I was shocked to find that I am. It shocked me. WHY? a) What’s wrong with everything Home Dan (HD) is that I want to keep him away from Work Dan (WD) and vice versa? b) Are the two versions of me embarrassed of one another?

The answer to those questions is a) NOTHING and b) NO.. neither HD or WD embarrass easily!

You need to have adaptable versions of yourself, you can’t react the same to everyone, ie for example your boss versus your kids.

Having a WD and an HD in my persona surprised me, how did this happen? why? when? and why didn’t I know about it? 🙂 I didn’t tell me…

Perhaps it is the fact that eventually the WD decided that to progress he had to grow up, to visibly mature. To look, act and sound like the professional I wanted to be. The relaxed, uber easy going attitude of HD had to be replaced, with a visibly focused and driven Dan. (It’s amazing how walking quickly around the office changes perception about your state of mind. Don’t scoff, Seinfield science works! AKA the Pensky file)

WD gets listened to a lot more than HD, is it a kid and wife thing versus the fact that WD does people’s performance review and that people get paid to listen to WD?

WD expects people to have their own minds, and for them to deliver, what is promised (yet tries to plan for non delivering). HD definitely wants to tell the kids what to do (bad dad) and gets more disappointed when people let him down, and leaves planning to others. WD is probably tougher on people and with himself, HD is more easy going. WD wont shy away from difficult conversations, HD doesn’t see the point of making waves on little points. HD picks his battles more, WD knows he sometimes has to put it out there.

WD thinks more before he opens his mouth, HD just lets things flow and is quite happy talking junk. WD laughs quieter than HD! 🙂

There is a point however where they intersect? You see a stressed WD makes a grumpy and quiet HD. A bad day at the office reflects more on HD, than a bad day/night at home reflects on WD.

Is there a preference that I’d prefer to be? HD or WD? you know what? I’m happy with the mix… my household may like to see more WD at times, and my work may want to see more HD at times. We are all a work in progress, both sides of me are developing, learning and hopefully becoming a better version of me everyday.

I’d like it known now however, I no longer scoff or laugh at the different phone voices of the girls in the office.

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Posted on January 17, 2009, in work/life balance. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It’s an easy thing to fall into, two personalities one for work and one for home. I think it’s a balancing act. There has to be some differences, after all you’re operating in different environments. You can’t expect success in either setting without adapting your personality to suit.The danger is of course that your work self becomes so drastically different from your home self that you almost become two entirely different people. I think that can cause some serious problems long term. Personally I’ve experienced a merger of my work and home self over the past six months or so. It’s working out quite well, feeling alot better about both sides!Kudos on the article though, good issue to raise.

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