Was meant to do a post on this a while back, but better late then never.
The division between work and private life. There’re a few different sides to this, be it how much of yourself you give away at work (discussing family, friends, boy/girlfriends openly with colleagues/superiors, coming in tired because your private life is taking a toll on work, being stressed or unfocused due to things going on outside of your work sphere).
Someone once said they were able to completely separate the two, that they could come into work each morning and shut off everything that was not directly relevant. Whether they were going through a divorce, or had just had the happiest day of their life, they could just ignore it completely.
Personally I don’t think it’s that easy, or that cutting the two apart is necessarily the right choice. There’s a fine balance, where you have to remember that not everybody you work with is also your ‘friend’, and the other way around too. It’s important to keep a professional distance, because fair or not you render yourself vulnerable and there are sides that will influence your work-persona in other people’s eyes.
This doesn’t of course mean you should go full bi-polar and alternate your personalities or anything quite as dramatic, just remember to keep a small protective wall up. In particular, as a girl, the strength or focus you exude to the rest of the crew can suddenly be vital for your progressing career. Equally, don’t put a lid on everything. Be open and share what feels comfortable, and be human. Don’t shut out emotions, or forget that everyone in the office are, indeed people. Just be wise… Making the tabloid isn’t good news, but while Anna Wintour is stupidly successful… that’s not necessarily the path to being well-liked by the rest of the production office.
There is, however, the remaining question of how you balance all this without a) at some point having one said break over slightly (this will happen, you’ll deal with it, and move on gracefully), or b) you loose some part of yourself because work v private become too separate.
Thinking out loud… It’s one of those mornings.