Performance pressure on the job considerably affects our behavior in the workplace and among co-workers. While a certain amount of dedication and professionalism is expected, it is possible to lose yourself to your job’s demands – morphing your behavior, your tone of voice, even your personality – into someone whom you may not recognize at times. While a job is necessary to pay the bills, it should not compromise the very essence of what makes you you. Here are a few signs that you may be sacrificing more than time and effort at the job – and losing a part of yourself in the process.
This is possibly the most common behavior of employees trying too hard to fit in to their workplace. A few white lies about what movies or music you like because you feel the conversation may help you bond with a co-worker or boss is relatively harmless, and almost everyone has done this at some point in their career. However, actively pursuing the interests of others in your office when you know they do not suit you, and behaving under false pretenses by compromising specific interests which make up your personality to impress your boss, only degrades and diminishes your real self.
Self-esteem can be fragile and difficult to repair, so protect what you have and don’t allow others, even bosses or coworkers, to compromise it. Respecting yourself, your beliefs, values, and dreams is the key to maintaining healthy self-esteem. If you ignore personal values for the sake of your job title, or allow others to insult, taunt or berate your ideals, you have given them the power to tinker with your self-worth. No job or person is ever worth such high a price.
Hitting the Bottle
Experts say a glass of red wine a day can be good for your health, which may or may not account for the other potential risks of regular alcohol consumption. Whatever your normal alcohol usage may be, keeping aware of any changes might alert you to just how stressful your job has become for you. If you find yourself drinking more than before you started the job, or received the promotion, take a hard look at yourself. Many people use alcohol as a way to relax at the end of a long day, but it is easy to slip from casual alcohol use to alcohol abuse. When happy hour becomes a daily venture, and nightcaps, a ritual, you may need to re-evaluate how your job is affecting the rest of your life, and liver!
When Your Job Invades the Homefront
Certain jobs come with specific behavioral expectations, often of an aggressive nature, which help you ‘take charge’ of critical situations and deal with them efficiently and quickly. Whereas this type of behavior may help you through the day at your work, if you allow these traits to bleed into your personal life, you are permitting the job to get the better of you. It can be hard to separate your “work” personality from your relaxed-and-at-play persona, so stay tuned in to your own behavior! Driving aggressively on the road, attempting to bully the slow guy in line in front of you at the store, or verbally attacking your beau because he didn’t call you when he said he would, are all ways you’ve let that aggression take over your personality in negative ways.
The price of maintaining your integrity and preserving your self-esteem, is constant vigilance both in the workplace and outside of it. When you find yourself feeling dishonest in your work relationships, be forewarned that you are in danger of tainting your personal relationships with this unhealthy behavior. Your awareness of these pitfalls will help you stay in conscious control of your personality instead of allowing your career to define you.