Picture: YourDOST

I’ve always said HR is a great career. You can have a such an influential position in a leading organisation and truly influence culture, business and ultimately people’s lives in such a profound and positive way.

You are the one who people come to, to offer support for their personal issues. You’re the one they come to when leaders need advice on how to solve conflict. You’re also the one people might come to if their pay is wrong. You’re the one who sets the standards and expectations, and models excellence through leading by example. It’s a big deal.

We’re the ones who have to coach leaders to give messages (or indeed, deliver it ourselves) such as, “If we don’t see an improvement in your performance, we will have to terminate your employment”.

We also have to say things such as “The standard is [insert standard] and failure to meet it will resolve in disciplinary action”

Or how about giving deadlines: “If this isn’t completed by [insert deadline] then we’ll have to talk about a performance improvement plan.”

All sounds great in the boardroom and the office.

But what happens when your professional life spills over into your personal?

I’ve had friends on final warnings, and boyfriends on performance improvement plans.

“If you’re late one more time I’m going to have to call off our friendship” (friend on a final warning)

“If you don’t pick up after yourself, I’m going to have to break up with you” (boyfriend on performance improvement plan)

The problem is, the sorts of rules that people must obey in order to keep their job do not apply in my personal life. Or they shouldn’t.

If your friend is constantly late, give them an earlier time to meet so you don’t have to stress about it while you’re sitting there waiting.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend is a slob, pick up after them so you don’t have to look at it, or trade them in for an upgrade. It doesn’t take away the frustration though.


Usually it’s me giving the advice, but this time I’m seeking help from you! If you have any suggestions on how to let go of things, drop them in the comments below. I’d also love to hear from you about how what you do professionally applies personally, and how you deal with it.


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