Job identity is a powerful thing.
How many times have you worked with someone curt, driven and disinterested, only to find them the height of charm at social events?
I’ve known loads of people like this. The kind of people about whom colleagues whisper, “You should see her when she’s out! She’s a different person.”
I started thinking about this when a solicitor said, “It’s strange. Giving a client a dressing down isn’t difficult when I’m wearing the guise of a solicitor, but I wouldn’t dream of addressing someone in the same manner if I was representing myself.”
It made me consider how the employment roles we adopt often alter our behaviour completely, not only with clients or customers, but also the people we work with. We can be one person in work and someone entirely different off the clock.
Whilst we all compartmentalise, we should be mindful of ourselves when we do. We must resist, as far as possible, sacrificing our individuality for a generic job identity. It’s a short step from being curt, driven and disinterested to being outright rude to colleagues when the heat is on. And even targets of workplace bullying can succumb to the stereotypical labels directed at them and accept them as some sort of personal definition.
The goal, perhaps, is to be the kind of person in work your family and friends would still recognise if they chose to spend a day with you.
It’s extremely important, even if it is easier said than done.
- Bullied By The Boss
- Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."