When Eric and I committed ourselves to conquer our debt, I started several part time jobs and it sent me through an emotional and mental loop. As we all know the workplace can be a very negative place to be. I had quit my old job because it had become a very toxic place for me.
If we don’t check ourselves we can be bringing that negativity into our homes and personal life.
In last week’s post you all read about the debt free journey I am on and that is the reason I accepted the job I currently have. I was not looking for a job at the time. We had actually just started searching for ways to make some extra money. Then, we get a call and a job was practically handed to me.
Whether you are building your career, you have a full time or part time job–we all have to deal with certain people and situations.
I am constantly reminding myself, several times of the day WHY I am here. Every time, I put on my big girl pants, smile and say it is all worth it. Our goals are bigger than my slight discomfort for a couple of years.
The biggest problem I have noticed in the workforce is the age gap. It is so important that we know about this because it does cause tension between coworkers. I think it’s important to be prepared for facing these situations or people to make a more positive work environment. Whether you love your job or not, we all spend a lot of time with these people. Taking care of our mental and emotional selves, no matter where we work should be a priority.
Ever since I got my first job I have been working with people way older than me. I have learned a lot from these people. I’ve seen the good and the bad. As a young adult it is hard to relate to these coworkers and find a middle ground. On both ends, assumptions have been made because of our age. Our workplace is a big part of our life and its where we spend a lot of our time. Finding ways to work with people who you may not have a lot in common with is important not just for success in your work but also for your peace of mind.
Whether you have been working at a place now for several years or if you have just started a new job this post can help you focus on the good qualities of your coworkers and how to notice the negative, unhelpful people. Most people bring their stresses and problems to work with them. A lot of the time these people lash out and affect the rest of us.
As a side note if you find yourself unhappy at work, you carry that with you everywhere you go. When you go home to your family and when you go out with friends people notice this extra weight you carry. It’s a good idea to ask yourself if you should stay somewhere that isn’t bringing you any positive energy. We all have good and bad days, but your workplace shouldn’t become a place of dread.
One of the best things about working with people older than you is that you get to learn a lot. If you work with people who are willing to help and teach you then there is so much you can learn. In a way they act as shortcuts, they know what does and doesn’t work. You are able to learn from someone who is experienced in both your job and life matters. Just keep asking questions and watch how they treat customers and finish tasks. The best thing is that there isn’t just one person that has a ton of experience in that field. There are others that are most likely willing to help. It’s your job to keep an open mind, be like a sponge and absorb all the helpful things they have to teach you. Just make sure to not get in the way of their work because they might end up finding you annoying or disruptive.
Based on an article by Paul White, The Changing Workplace: Generational Differences, when problems arise it is not just because of age, it is a cultural difference. Millennials, Gen Z and Baby Boomers were all raised to do things differently and we each think that ‘our way’ is the ‘best way’ to get things done. This causes miscommunication and can lead to lack of respect and appreciation for one another.
In the article, they decided to run some tests to see what exactly was different between all of us. They found that we share core values but what is different is how we like to display them. It was found, we all value words of appreciation and quality time. Yet, the difference is shown how we prefer those languages to be shown. For example, the older generation finds more value spending quality time with their supervisor, whereas the younger gen finds value in spending time with their colleagues rather than their supervisors.
Understanding small differences like these changes your perspective and helps you see why some people act like they do, including yourself.
It is not about the age gap but about our cultural differences. This helps us gain a better understanding of our coworkers and when something goes wrong to not take it personally. Not everyone knows about this new information like you do so, here I have written 4 things you should still look out for and try your best to avoid. These tips can help make your workday go better and smoother.
- DRAMA! This is one of the first things learned and I learned it the hard way. People talk and gossip around the workplace. If you say something to someone keep in mind it might spread. Don’t assume people will keep your conversations private or a secret. Trust me, they will try to get you to talk and get to really know you. If you feel comfortable with this person then go ahead and feel free to share but keep in mind people are not perfect and might ‘spill your beans’. I am not implying its okay for people to spread things about you but at least you know you are being careful and sharing things that can’t backfire in a negative way. This goes for both men and women. So many people think its just women who spread gossip but men are just as capable.
- People tend to be passive aggressive. If they have a problem with you, they are not always upfront and willing to have a conversation with you. Instead, they will hold a grudge or spread gossip. These people try to develop problems and want you to engage in them. From what I have learned it’s best to just leave it be. Especially if you don’t need their help to do your job. It’s better to let them keep their negative attitude towards themselves rather than open those can of worms. There is no need to beat yourself up over someone who goes through so many emotions. A lot of times it probably isn’t even you, they are just taking it out on you. Just remember not everyone is going to like you and that is okay. Do your part to keep it civil and if you see that person becoming more toxic then talk to your superior, who will handle it in a neutral way.
- It’s best to avoid people who have bad attitudes. You can pretty much figure these people out quickly. They are complainers about everything. Little situations or problems set them off and ruins their day. Nothing makes them happy and it’s always someone else’s fault. They carry this negative bubble around them and it’s a vibe you want to avoid. Especially if you want to stay positive and be the best you can be, then spending very little time with these people will help you stay focused and on track. A lot of the time these people will be drawn to you because of your positivity. They will see that you are succeeding more than they are and will want to get close. People with bad attitudes often don’t know they are one of these people so it’s important that you do your part to keep yourself in check. It’s not easy always easy to keep a positive attitude, so how is your attitude doing? Are you reading and listening to positive things. It is so easy to conform to the people around us and its dangerous if a lot of those people are negative and self sabotaging. Make sure to cleanse yourself, a little self care if you may.
- Lastly, don’t try to change people. Once we get comfortable with the people we work with we try to show them how to do things differently and we indirectly try to change who they are. We don’t always see it when we are doing this. We might say, ‘I am just trying to show them how to do it better, my way works best’. Although it might be true that your way works best, it is all about how you approach it. There might be a real practical reason why they chose it do it that way. It’s always best to ask questions first and see if you are going to be helpful or just critical.
As you learn and become associated at your new job or a new career, remember to stay true to you and your values. We are all influenced by people so be aware who you are being influenced by. Make sure they share the same values as you do. If they don’t, then I recommend just keep the relationship simply professional. There is no need to stir up trouble where there isn’t any.
People will say things and make up assumptions, it’s really up to you if you want to engage. The way I look at it, people will have their opinions and opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one. It’s just going to take a lot of time and unnecessary energy to try to change people’s opinions of you. At the end of the day all that matters is what you think of yourself.
Let people be wrong about you, let them underestimate you-that is where your power lies. You can take control of that and if you choose to, you show them what you are capable of through your actions.
It’s never too late to many the changes you want in your life. You just start one day and keep starting each and every day after that.
Happy September everyone! I can’t believe the holidays are almost here!!
Until next time,