Transportation Professional’s Perspective: 3 Ways to Keep Your Home and Work Life Separate
Transportation operations can be stressful and intense. Unfortunately, we all know that it’s a job that does not always end when we leave the office. Sometimes there are issues that follow us home because they require additional follow through at night or on weekends. Sometimes we head home thinking everything is wrapped up tight and a cell phone call disrupts a perfectly quiet night with your family. The question is, how do we manage these times without letting it affect our families?
Because each of us are different, there is not a “cookie cutter” approach; but there are a few guiding principles and disciplines we can adopt to minimize the impact on our daily lives:
1.Clear your head. When you leave work turn the trucking switch off. Your family cannot help you solve the problems at work and talking about them at length will provide no benefit for anyone.
2.Pretend if you have to. If something really bothers you, it will ultimately bother your spouse and possibly even your children. If you come home angry or upset after a bad day, your family will soon follow suit. The reverse is also true, if you walk in the door smiling and happy, (even if you are pretending) your family is more likely to be cheerful too. You can make a conscious effort to improve the mood or make it worse. It’s your call.
3.Take it to another room. If your cell phone rings with a work problem, try to step out of hearing distance. There’s no need to disrupt everyone while you’re resolving an issue. No matter the amount of work the call requires—additional calls, logging into a computer, or returning to the office– do it all with a positive attitude. This sets a good example for your children and helps you get back into your day when the situation is resolved. When you finish the call, make sure to clear your head and hang up on trucking before returning to your family.
After over 25 years in transportation, my wife and daughters will all tell you that I have always loved what I do. While this is certainly true, I have shielded them from the difficult days. When I do that, the demands of trucking don’t seem as burdensome to everyone, including myself. My children grew up understanding how demanding a career in trucking was, but when asked, they only have a vague idea of what I have to do each day. In my eyes that is a perfect balance of my home life and my work life.