28 April 2010|
For me, one of the most important ingredients to a successful career is the skill to enjoy your work. Yes, that’s right, I believe that enjoying work is a skill that can be learnt as opposed a natural gift or inherent part of the character. This gives hope to those like Adam, who find their workplace as a place to feel ostracized...
“I just don’t feel that I belong there,” said Adam, a computer analyst with a large financial group. “At lunch and after work they all go off in their cliques. The only times they ever speak to me is when they want something from me.”
When I asked Adam’s workmates about what they thought of him, they replied, “He’s okay I guess. He seems to like keeping to himself though.” It is most often the case that the other work colleagues aren’t on some deliberate campaign to upset or alienate you.
The important thing to those who feel ostracized at work is to understand that it is YOU who is feeling ostracized. YOU are the source of your emotions. YOU have the capacity to control your emotions. The common denominator is that the ostracized feel that their emotional wellbeing is being determined by others. They accept no responsibility for their own emotional state.
I used to always blame others for my stress levels. I used to get that upset at drivers breaking the road rules that I would often arrive at work with a headache. One of my mentors, Dr. John Hinwood use to get me to point my finger at the other drivers and blame them. He then would say, “How many fingers are pointing to the real cause.”
I would look down at my hand and notice that one finger was pointing away whereas three fingers were pointing back at me the real cause...me.
This doesn’t mean that you start blaming yourself for feeling this way. There is a big difference between acknowledging yourself as the cause and blaming yourself. Laying blame is just a form of abuse whereas if you acknowledge that you are the cause, then you also must be the solution. It places you in a position where you can take action to change things.
What action can you take to change things if you are feeling ostracized?
Stop playing the victim. Start being social and begin interacting with workmates.
Unsure of what to talk about?
Try their favourite subject...THEM. Find out about their likes and passions and then you can begin to uncover shared interests. Then you’ll have plenty of topics that you enjoy talking about.