I use to keep my work life and my home life separated. Meaning, I didn’t hang out with work friends on my off-hours. That was definitely an oversight on my part. I missed out on getting to know some truly wonderful people, outside of work.
The other night I had dinner with three other women who are also members of SDA (sda-seattle.org and sdanational.org). I’ve known these women a long time, and every so often when Carol comes to town, we make a point of going out to dinner. What a treat that is for me! I am staying connected with others, outside of work, and I’m not doing it with gadget in hand (yes, I’m pointing at you, Facebook).
I also have a standing, every-few-months lunch date with three to four other work-related friends. When I send the invite for that, I actually title it “Staying Connected.” When I first started a group-lunch date, we held that first one because one of the women had a birthday, and I could tell she was hoping someone would take her to lunch to celebrate. So I asked a few others that I knew would enjoy taking her out for a birthday lunch, and then it became a regular thing, taking the birthday girl out to lunch. Over the years, that birthday-lunch date turned into Staying Connected, because the original group of woman, well—one moved out of the country, one was laid off, and another one relocated to another job. So I found a new group of woman who enjoyed getting together every so often, and I call those lunches Staying Connected.
It’s good to get away from work with a group of people who have some sort of initial connection. And we are able to do that—have fun, share stories, find out what’s up with families, and vacations, and future plans—all without gadgets. Imagine that! Live conversations over lunch or dinner. Gadget-free.
Okay, okay; I confess. We do use our gadgets during lunch or dinner, but only to see the photos each one wants to share. That’s the only plus side of having the gadget on hand when we are together.
So the whole point of me writing this . . . I suggest you take a little time to make live, gadget-free connections during your work career. That’s all. Just make some life-long connections.