I’m constantly amused at how my home life and career mirror one another.  Really, it’s eerie.  The same skills that I use with managing the au-pair, kids, and husband at home are the same skills that I use to manage my team and manager at work.  There are, of course, a few differences.  I never have to tell my team at work things like “Don’t lick your brother”, but many of the same principles apply.

3 Ways My Home Life and Career Mirror One Another

  • Everyone likes praise, and plenty of it.  I use a heavy dose of positive reinforcement whenever I catch someone doing something good.  This goes for teaching kids to do chores like cleaning the bathroom, as well as motivating employees to do chores at work.  
  • Everyone Needs a Purpose. Both kids, and team mates need a purpose.  They need to understand how what they are doing is contributing to the greater good, and that it’s not just busy work.  Taking out the trash at home contributes to running the household, and doing lab maintenance work contributes to keeping our team running at work.  Both are critical, but boring.  If the person doing them doesn’t see the purpose, then the likelihood of them.
  • Interviewing is Like Blind Dating. Fact is, whether I’m interviewing the next au-pair, or a prospective intern for work, interviewing people is a lot like a blind date.  A resume can only give you so much information.  Whether the person is a match for the family, or a match for the work environment can be hard to tell on paper.  I find myself setting up a lot of interviews, where we try blindly to get to know one another.  In both cases, I’ve developed some screening methods that I apply to all candidates, but I can’t help but come back to the blind date analogy.

I do confess at times that it seems like my life and my career resemble one another closely.  In fact, some days, it’s like being caught in the twilight zone, or having constant deja-vu, where I’m doing everything in duplicate.  This is especially true when I’m interviewing summer interns while interviewing the next au-pair who will also arrive during the summer.  Yes, I’ve even asked the au-pair to tell me about her Linux operating system skills once or twice.  Fortunately, I can’t recall ever asking a prospective intern how they would resolve a dispute among the children, but maybe I should start asking them how they resolve a dispute in the work environment.