With the rate of unemployment skyrocketing, it’s no wonder many people bear abusive behaviour from their colleagues or bosses. But there are ways you can stand up for yourself in the office
A lot of my friends and I have had conversations about the places we have worked in and one of the things we had in common was misery at work. From dealing with crappy bosses who have made us feel small to jealous, insecure colleagues who have literally driven us out of our bread and butter. I was listening to a radio station a few weeks ago where a career expert reported that the annual financial that losses companies, and the economy faces due to absenteeism at work were at a steep. She mentioned that the number one cause of that is the stress that comes with the toxicity some workplaces have. A lot of people are unhappy at work because of that one colleague, system or manager who seems to block their growth. I find nothing wrong with being firm and knowing the results you want as a boss, but how you treat your employees is a choice that could lead to the downfall of the business you have worked hard to build. On the other hand, I have learned that what you allow is what will continue to happen to you. There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive and you have to play your cards right to not come across as an impossible colleague to work with. Acting timid is also one ticket that will propel others to walk all over you. And yes, I know you want to keep that job at all costs to support your family and fund your lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your health and happiness. This is how you can stand up for yourself at work:
Know which battles to pick: the best way to do that is to know, exactly what your job description and contract entails as well as the policies of your company. Having this knowledge will empower you to stand your ground when there is a need to. Also make sure that you document everything that is expected of you at work, either in your notebook or on e-mail. You might need it one day.
Learn to say no: It feels good knowing that you are that reliable colleague but biting more than you can chew will affect the quality of your work and life outside those office walls. Unless it’s a team effort or a requirement to work overtime, you don’t have to be a ‘yes ma’am or sir’ all the time, especially if you feel overwhelmed or overworked. If anything it looks desperate instead of impressive when it shows in your baggy eyes.
Don’t take things personal: Unless a criticism is constructive never allow yourself to be pulled down by anyone at work. Politely address the situation there and then and make it clear how you want to be addressed, no matter the position you hold. Be firm in showing people how you want to be treated because for some strange reason which I cannot fathom, sometimes your colleagues or employer wants to prove their ‘power’ over you if you allow them to.
Know the value you bring to the company: You were employed for your skills and talent and if you know that you are good at what you do, use that as a motivation to keep you going. Surround yourself with people at work who make you feel empowered and always keep it professional.
Stop victimising yourself: This shouldn’t apply at work only but in your everyday life. Life can throw stones and lemons at you but you have to find ways of turning your tragedies into strategies. If you don’t like the situation at work, stand up for yourself. Talk to management and present your case accordingly, with back up. If the situation is beyond your control don’t give up on finding other career opportunities that will help you grow in your career.
Have you found yourself in a situation where you had to stand up for yourself at work? How did you? We’d love to hear on the comments below: