The ‘work self’ vs the other self

Do you ever think of your ‘work self’ as a different person? I try not to, but it happens.

Lately I’ve been trying to bring these two people closer together.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple balancing scales emoji, in front of a bright green triangle across the top right corner

Like, I don’t want to breach the rules of workplace appropriateness, but I do want to bring the same warmth and humour that I do with my besties. I want to sound the same in emails as I do when I’m talking. I want to call myself out when I make mistakes. And let people know when I’m having a down day. I am a human person, and —yep!— it’s the same one when I’m at work as the rest of the time.

It’s been a hot minute (seven months?!) since my last post. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t been sharing things here. I’ve had my work burner on high, and a few other things have slipped in the process… such as this blog.

The thing is, I’m still a firm believer in the value of sharing the things I’ve learnt, and dedicating time and energy to this little corner of the interweb feels very closely aligned with that purpose: to teach, to share! Before you start thinking what a sweetheart I am, taking the time to write cohesive thoughts on a topic helps the writer as much as the reader, maybe more? When I sit down to craft a Medium article, blog post, or a newsletter contribution, I’ll always learn something at the same time.

This post is a great meta-example — I thought I was just sitting down to plug my company’s newsletter, but as I sat down to write I wondered, ‘Why haven’t I shared this before? Do I really need to compartmentalise myself between what I write for work, and what I write on this blog? I’m the same person after all!’ …and here we are.

So I guess this is a plug for the Paper Giant newsletter which I write things in from time to time, but it’s also a plug for realness (and if I could find another word for authenticity, I’d use it here too).

Paper Giant is a strategic design company; we seek to help organisations solve problems by using different research and design methods. We believe that the best decisions are made when you consult the people who are affected by them, and that applying a systems lens can help find the root causes for things. I always find it hard to describe the work we do because every project is its own little universe, but I can say the company is made up of smart and thoughtful people, who each bring their own special skills and approach, and I learn from them every day.

In our fortnightly newsletter, our team shares articles they’ve found interesting, new tools or apps we’re digging, stories about our work, and a variety of other bite-sized goodies. I’m obviously biased, but I think it’s a consistently great read!

Over the years I’ve written about:

If I’ve sold you on it and you’d like to give it a whirl, you can subscribe here (and don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you unsubscribe again later).

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