Firstly, my apologies if this is the wrong area for this question, along with the length of it...

My manager of 6 months and I meet weekly to discuss work, he is supportive where needed, and praises good work often. He said something last week which is really sitting on my mind - we had just finished the weekly catchup meeting and we were chatting about general things-the weekend, family, etc. I made a passing comment that my husband had been coming home a bit stressed lately as he has a few things going on with work. We moved to why some people bring the stress home with them and why some focus on other things when at home.My manager then said to me words along the lines of 'usually it's the more driven people who think about work when they get home and that I seem like a less driven type who doesn't think about work at home - that I'm not the driven type'. I was a bit shocked and mind of just brushed it off. 

I actually feel a bit offended over this - ive worked hard since joining the team, brought new initiatives and ideas, my achievements have been well received, run a recruitment round finding two successful hires for the section, revitalized a formal committee, have gone above and beyond, supervised a grad rotating through the section, strengthened internal and external relationships with stakeholders, plus other bits and pieces. Basically I've done my job and I've done it well. Does anyone have any ideas as to why he may think I'm not driven? What criteria may be be using?I work so hard and Enjoy my work.

Over the past 5 years ive managed multi million dollar projects, successfully had a slight career change, had time off on maternity leave, and juggle flexible work hours to ensure I spend time with my little ones as well as work. I also know to leave work at work when required and focus on my family when at home...except for this one comment it seems...

Do you think I have taken his comments bit to heart? Does anyone have any suggestions?  


jrb3's picture
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 ... do you know exactly what he means by it?  Until you ask him and find out, I'd suggest you're over-reacting.  (But don't blindly throw away any insights you gain along the way while reacting. :-)

I've known a few people who think the only people who could possibly be "driven" are those who take work and stress home with them, and then bring both back in the morning.  Their confusion seemed to be "time and effort" for "effectiveness and results".

From my experience so far, some take "work" home with them because that's all they have in life -- early career, for instance.  Some take "work" home because it's a vital part of their identity, or they're wrestling with a challenge they love, or because they don't know any better, or because there's not enough uninterrupted business-hours time to get important work done, or even because they don't know yet how to get their results to happen easily during the day.  Each of these is a different case, and any negatives would be addressed very differently.

One of my co-workers in a past job didn't seem "driven" to many.  She was widely known for being "easy-going" and "adaptable" and "unflappable" and "Mrs. Reliable".  Oh, was she driven all right!  She wanted to provide good work, yet have time and energy for her growing family.  Her solution?  Sharp organization, a great network of people to pass ideas around and to catalyze, a ruthless hand for eliminating the needless and the excess, some extra time during the day for learning and sharing, and a scrupulous honoring of her own time and everyone else's.  She never arrived early nor left late -- child care restrictions -- and took nothing at all of her work home with her.  'It got in the way of the kids,' she explained to me once.  She put in the fewest hours of any of us.  Her results were never less than spectacularly effective.  I'd work with (or for) her again in a heartbeat.