When I look back on my short corporate career, the milestones are the people am friends with. This struck me when I was in Mumbai yesterday and day before. I spent the evening with my ex colleagues turned friends. I realized that a lot of people I spend time with currently have been my colleagues at some point. We have been at the same table, sometimes on the opposite ends, many times on the same side.
I am incapable of being friends with people when I work with them. There is an internal barrier because I don’t like discussing my personal life at work. I never have. There is a fence which nobody is allowed to cross. Also, I can’t spend 24/7 with someone. So, if I have spent all day with colleagues I can’t go out for dinner with them. Actually, I don’t think I would want to have dinner with them even if I haven’t spent all day with them. It’s a work life balance thing. As long as you are part of my work life, if I spend after office hours with you, the balance tips away from life.
The friendships and closeness have developed after I have either shifted locations (in the same company) or shifted companies. One thing that all of these friends have in common is- their honesty, upfront attitude, absence of typical corporate behavior and lack of ass licking skills.
This is how I have friends who are very different from who I am. Cheers to that!!!