As I go to work each day, I’m continually reminded that I am no longer in college. In college, I could wake up on the wrong side of the bed, throw on a groutfit (a groutfit refers to an all-grey outfit consisting of sweatshirt material—not cute), not bother with my hair and walk to class with a rain cloud over my head. In college, it was good to look like that; the more disheveled you looked and acted, the more people could relate to your stress and feel sorry for you. For example, “Have you seen Jennifer over there? She hasn’t blinked once and is wearing what looks to be her boyfriend’s dress shirt inside out. Poor thing – she must be so busy.”
I’ve learned quickly that in Corporate America EVERYBODY is busy, EVERYBODY is tired, EVERYBODY has things in their personal life bothering them and EVERYBODY wishes they were in their jammies watching Game of Thrones. The question is, do you take that mentality into work with you, or do you leave it at the door? SPOILER: You should leave it at the door. Let me give you an example.
August 1, 2017. 7:43 AM. I was on my morning commute to work in my brand new car. I had owned the car for less than a month, and the first-adult-purchase, new-wheels high was going strong. Out of nowhere, the same exact meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs crashed into my windshield. It left the gnarliest crack you’ve ever seen right in my line of vision. I. Was. LIVID. Have you ever gone through the seven stages of grief in 45 seconds? Regardless of my angst, I had to gather myself in the next seven minutes before I stepped out of my car. I was going to work, and not only does nobody have time to join my pity party, but I also didn’t want to be known as the new guy who cries on the escalators.
Can you always keep it in? No, we’re not statues. My point is to consider saving your emotional reactions for your friends and family. That may mean, as bad as it sounds, putting a mask on at the office. Can you talk to your friends at work? Of course, but just know when, where and how much. At the end of the day, you know your environment better than anyone else, and you get to determine your level of transparency. Just remember it may impact how you’re perceived in the workplace.
(Please note that all thoughts and opinions are my own. I do, in no way, shape, or form, speak for the Kellogg Company regarding their values, stances, etc.)
Need help calibrating your emotions at work? Or have a fool-proof tip for keeping it together? Comment below or leave us a message.