From the bio of one of my fave Tumblrs, Lani Pauli.
Beautiful - and my first thought was “I agree!” - but also, I suspect, a luxury of the representation-based professions.
Those of us who spend a lot of time online - and especially those of us who read marketing blogs - spend a lot of time talking about authenticity and importance of “being human”. People, we say, want to interact with whole, authentic personalities, not fragments that have been cordoned off and constructed for a particular setting. Why should we adopt personas at work that are different to the people we are outside it?
And it’s great and it’s beautiful, but it’s also still something of a luxury. As an editor, I can wear the same clothes to work as I do on the weekends, but a lawyer or an investment banker can’t do the same. A creative in advertising might be praised for their witticisms and “off the wall” thinking (although I’m sure some people who work in advertising would beg to differ on this one), but a psychologist or a social worker has to remain a blank slate when working with their clients. An artist - or a graphic designer - can go to lunch, or at least the toilet, whenever they like. A teenager working at the checkout at McDonalds doesn’t have the same luxury.
This might change - and I’ve written about it before, especially in relation to politics. I’d like to think that our leaders in 30 years time won’t be expected to have never done anything foolish or ever goofy. And as Lani acknowledges, it goes both ways as well - I might “be myself” at work, but I’m also kind of obsessed with work even when I’m not there.