For many people in college, the line blurs between your “school life” and your personal life because there is a good chance you are living on campus. After graduating and landing your first real job, it can be vital to learn the importance of separating these two from each other despite the fact that you are spending 40+ hours a week with your coworkers. It is definitely tempting to become close friends with the people you spend the most time with, however, there can be a real issue with revealing too much or wasting company time. Here are five reasons why keeping your work life and personal life detached are beneficial contributors to success.
1. To avoid judgment
When your coworker asks how your weekend was, it is best to keep it short and sweet to avoid judgment that could taint your work ethic from their perspective. Now, I’m not saying that you are doing anything absurd during the weekends, but if you went to a concert, probably best to keep it to a short and sweet one liner then steer the conversation in a different direction. You know, to protect your secret of being hungover on Monday morning and all.
2. Keep your mojo
If you feel that there is no separation from your at work life and personal life, it is possible for you to get burned out, and I have unfortunately been there more often than not. It is virtually the same concept as when people tell you not to do your homework in bed and instead get up and go to the library. If you start to associate work with downtime then you aren’t taking time to recharge and relax.
3. “Don’t dip the pen in company ink.” -Pineapple Express
AKA don’t date your cute coworker. I’m not saying this can’t work, as there are exceptions to every rule, however, once you become vulnerable with someone you see every day it can be hard to keep your feelings out of things. I actually did meet my boyfriend at work, but before you decide to engage in an emotional or sexual relationship, you should build a friendship first and make sure that you trust the person and that there is a high probability of the relationship lasting. Casual hookups and one night stands have absolutely no place in corporate life. Also- PDA is not cute in front of your boss. When you’re at work, be at work.
4. Show you are serious and professional
Joking around too much, especially if your coworker does not understand your sense of humor can lead to being misunderstood and unprofessional. In the same vein of dating a coworker, air on the side of caution. Dip your toe in the water and really get to know them before you reveal your true self. It is important to never make anyone feel uncomfortable with inappropriate, sarcastic, or off putting jokes, unless, of course, you love hanging out with HR.
5. Avoiding office drama
Look, I like procrastinating and getting distracted just as much as the next 20-something year old, however, if you find yourself spending as much time in the coffee room gossiping about Lisa’s weekend tinder date and not meeting deadlines or keeping up with your emails then it’s only a matter of time before you’re called into your boss’ office. Personally, I don’t like getting in trouble, so in order to stay focused on the job that pays for your brunch bill, I’d suggest saving those conversations for happy hour.