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Wellbeing / Work & family

Taking work home

I can, indeed sometimes do, share all sorts of intimate details in these articles safe in the knowledge that my partner of 15 years would never, ever read them. I’m hoping you do, though.

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Now the fact that my scribblings routinely attract scores of comments passes under John’s radar. There are over 15,000 readers of this little missive…and he is not one of them.

This got me thinking, how involved are partners in their other half’s solo businesses?

So I asked around. Most soloists I spoke to said their partners weren’t fully abreast of their solo businesses.

This surprised (and relieved) me – I thought John and I were unusual. Work is far from a taboo subject in our home, and at times we have lengthy discussions about the conversations generated by my newsletters, or what’s next for Flying Solo.

It’s just these conversations tend to be initiated by me and he rarely asks ‘How was your day, dear?’

"Work is such a key part of our identity, particularly for soloists, so it surprises me to learn that perhaps we’re not more share-y."

Four of the five soloists I talked to told me their partners showed similar ambivalence. A few (myself included) confessed to feeling hurt that something they’d been slaving over generated a subdued reaction from their other halves.

The fifth soloist occasionally works with her partner, who’s also an independent, so his interest in her business is more vested and predictable, I guess. She tells me, though, that while they share wins with one another, they avoid discussing work problems at home, as whatever’s going on professionally tends to be amplified during their personal conversations.

What got discussed by everyone, I found, was the financial element of the soloist’s work. So generally speaking, partners want to know how much. But not what of.

Work is such a key part of our identity, particularly for soloists, so it surprises me to learn that perhaps we’re not more share-y. While the egotist in me occasionally yearns for more interest from John, I’ve come around to thinking that it’s quite healthy to keep an air of mystery around one’s work. How convenient!

Of course a poll as small as mine is far from statistically relevant, but now I’ve shared what goes on in my home, I’d love to hear what goes on in yours.

Because at Flying Solo, we always care how your day’s been. 

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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