Airing Out Your Compartments

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

If you think you hate your job, consider that the job may not be to blame. It may be that you’ve unwittingly taken the wrong approach to compartmentalization.

To become a professional in almost any field, it is usually necessary to compartmentalize – to separate one’s personal life from one’s work. A criminal lawyer can’t kick back with clients the way she would with friends. A CEO may call the employees of his company a “family” – but he would be a fool to relate to them in the same way he does his actual family.

While the need for distinguishing the personal from the professional is obvious enough, it’s also clear that compartmentalization can lead to dishonesty and dissociation from one’s true self. It can bring about a cognitive dissonance that separates oneself from one’s spirit.