4. How much of my personal life should I share with my profession?
You may work with these people five days a week and eight hours a day, but when something bad happens, whose back do you think they will have? If you didn’t automatically answer, “MINE!,” than they are your colleagues and not your friends and that may be for the best. I don’t like my syrup touching my eggs and I don’t like mixing professional with personal if I can help it. When people accept a friend request on Facebook or hear about the argument you had with your man last night, they look at you differently and may even feel a sense of entitlement to offer their opinions on your lifestyle and judge your behavior. From what I have witnessed, this can only lead to resentment, jealousy and gossip. I think it’s okay to share your weekend plans from time to time or maybe even show some pictures of your kids in their school play, but watch what you say in the office. You don’t have to be friends to get the job done and it could be used against you one day.
5. How big of a part do values play?
Although you might find your eyelids dropping it like it’s hot during the team member meeting, it’s just as important to listen to what’s said at the lunch table. Co-workers and management (which you may want to pay close attention to) often lower their guard during lunch since it’s a bit more casual and usually off-the-clock. You’ll come to learn a lot about their opinions and values. A comment like, “Well that Trayvon kid really shouldn’t have been walking around at night in a hoodie,” may have you looking at these people in a whole different light. Whether you’d like to believe it or not, values play a significant part in how you carry yourself professionally. Hopefully you’re employed with an organization whose values are a reflection of your own, but if not, do you really want to have to constantly worry that someone’s personal beliefs are responsible for biased business decisions?
6. Should you fight or fold?
I can remember nights where I’d come home fuming about a colleague who mistakenly believed they were my boss (You know, someone who wants to be manager so bad, they constantly keep tabs on what you do even though it’s not in their job description). Or maybe you’re trying your best not to cuss out a manager who couldn’t manage their way out of a revolving door. We all need money, but if the place you have to spend 40 hours of your life in a week is making you miserable, you may need to explore your options or get your entrepreneur on. You shouldn’t allow annoying co-workers to occupy your thoughts when you’re off the clock. Before you go flipping over desks, keep things in perspective. Do you truly hate your job, or are you frustrated about shenanigans that have nothing to do with what you’re getting paid for? Sometimes it’s just not worth it. Learn to separate the two or learn to move on to another place. No job is worth your sanity and well-being.
What shady things have you witnessed at the workplace?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee.
More on Madame Noire!
- “Would We Still Back Barack Obama if He Were Married to a White Woman?”
- “Messy: Terrell Owens Confronts Baby Mommas on Dr. Phil”
- “Check Ya Vocals: 7 Songs That Would’ve Sounded Better If Someone Else Sang Them”
- “2012 Met Costume Institute Gala: Beyoncé, Rihanna & More Show Out On The Red Carpet”
- You Can Do Better: Your Standards Are Too Low If You Accept These 6 Things
- “How Far Can Swag Take You? An Analysis of the Rick Ross Appeal”
- “Phil Mushnick (And Those Who Agree With Him), Tell Us Why You’re Really Mad at Jay-Z”