Friday, December 18, 2015

Ryan Holiday: Why You Should Be Talking About Work

Ryan Holiday posted about why you should be talking about work. I agree with him.

One thing is for certain: at this moment, somewhere in the world, a group of people are getting together. Maybe it’s for the holidays or a date or just drinks with friends after a long day. They are chatting and talking and then, right as their conversation gets going, we can safely predict that the absolute worst person in that group will say the following: “Ugh, guys, can we please not talk about work? 
They’ll say that because they aren’t good at what they do for a living or because they don’t know how to deal with stress or difficulty without resorting to pointless complaining. Or perhaps they just have some silly notion about what’s proper and appropriate.
Ryan then goes on about how the work he does is what he loves, and why wouldn't he want to talk about it? Why wouldn't he want to talk to other people about what they love to do?

I can remember going through something similar in the Navy. The ship would pull into a liberty port. I'd link up with some people before heading out to see what the port had to offer (and of course, drink). Invariably, somebody would say "Guys, we shouldn't talk about the Navy while we're here." Sure enough, we'd end up talking about the Navy. Then that same person later would remind of us what HE agreed the group to.

After a few years of that, I'd start responding "Look, we've been at sea for weeks. We eat, sleep, live, breath, and SHIT the Navy. What the hell else are we supposed to talk about?"

I just got home from a week in New Orleans for a work related meeting. I got to meet people I've worked with on the phone and through email for YEARS, face to face. I got to do out drinking with them. It was great, and energizing. We all do similar work, but being able to sit down with someone over a few beers and get their perspective on it was awesome to me.

I also like getting to talk to people who do other jobs. "What do you do?" I do IT plans and policy. "Oh, really, I do this..." That is cool. Let me ask you...

For me that's fun.

Don't be afraid to talk about work, especially if you're doing something you enjoy. Don't be afraid to get other people's perspectives on what they do. You might actually learn something you can take back. Or at the very least, you have a new contact.
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