Sunday, April 15th, 2012 at
Chameleons are under appreciated. Just imagine the constant challenge of changing your colors to blend in with the environment around you. On a leaf, you’d have to turn green. On a twig, you’d have to turn brown. No matter the place, you’d have to camouflage your true self to ensure your survival. You see, all good chameleons know: Conformity = safety; being different = danger. New hires would be well served following a similar philosophy, as the “safety in conformity” rule is not only relevant to our colorful friends.
As you might have learned the hard way, we share the chameleon’s burden at various life stages. Our society tends to celebrate conformity while (sadly) often squashing anything that seems outside of the ordinary.You might have experienced this reality in high school when you learned that popularity is directly correlated with your wardrobe as well as your ability to not mess up the bell curve. There is safety in being just like everybody else, or at least acting like you are just like everybody else.
Your liberation from high school and college did not release you from this reality. As a new hire in a company, the “safety in conformity” rule is especially relevant – with much higher stakes. Here, if you fail to fit in with your new team’s culture, you might not only become the black sheep of the office. Much worse, you might get fired! A recent Forbes article indicated that nearly half of new hires fail within the first 18 months, most due to “attitudinal reasons,” including (from the employer’s perspective): temperament (yes, personality!), low levels of emotional intelligence and motivation, and lack of coachability (i.e., inflexibility). Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at
Work is part of life; it is healthy and constructive. It pays the bills. It gives the reward of real accomplishment and useful participation in community and society. It doesn’t matter if you are a Career Counselor like I am, a pizza delivery girl, a corporate executive, or an aspiring rocket scientist. Work can be wonderful and fulfilling if the fit is just right. However, as you might have learned, if not managed correctly, a job can also take a toll on your relationships, health, and overall sense of well-being.
The harsh reality of the current economic climate is that most of us are forced to do more with much, much less – both at work and at home. In today’s chaotic world, it is a safe bet that there just isn’t enough time in the average day to meet the responsibilities of work, family and friends. And, since our bosses hold a tight rein on our paychecks, it is likely that our family and friends are the ones who suffer. If you’re anything like me, you probably can’t find the time to return phone calls or remember to send a birthday card to your Aunt Betty. Thank goodness for Facebook! That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
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