Free Press Journal

Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems


The cubicle love

I have become obsessed with this girl at work. She is in my team and we work on group projects together. I can’t stop thinking about her and looking at her. Recently in a team meeting, my boss caught me looking at her and rebuked me in front of all. The obsession with her is affecting my work and my performance.

Ans: It is essential to figure out how do you feel about her in the first place and then accordingly take the next step towards this as it is already affecting your work to a large extent. When you say you are obsessed with her, it reflects your constant thinking about her rather than how you feel about her. When you distinguish between the two and find yourself with few answers, you might be able to detach from the obsession as well. Once you realise how you feel towards her, discussing things with her might also help and reduce chances of creating any unpleasant miscommunication.

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Personality matters  

I can’t figure why people need to step over each other in the work space in order to make themselves look better in the eyes of seniors. My wife and friends tell me that I need to become street smart. While I don’t get this logic, I do see that those who are politically savvy are at an advantage but I just don’t know how to sweet talk my way up.

Ans:  There are individual differences that exist amongst people and these differences get highlighted when certain things don’t work out for us. There is a need to find logic in the fact that which strengths of yours can help you move up the ladder rather than looking into what you are missing in comparison to others. Understanding the strengths in your own personality might help you work more efficiently and help you reach a level where your work would be enough to speak about you and hold a respectable stand in front of your seniors.

Missed a promotion

I have been at mid-level management for over 6 years now. I should have qualified for a promotion to top level management 2 years ago. I work hard to the extent my family life and health has suffered. This year a colleague was promoted instead of me. I feel let down and cheated to the extent I have had bouts of crying episodes in the bathroom. This is so hard for someone my age of 42.

Ans: The idea that you ‘should have’ qualified for a promotion needs some strong backing and not just your own assumptions, as at times we let the quantified view take over the rationality. You could take it up with your higher management and seek a meeting wherein you can explore your possible future in this company and arrive at a stage where both you and company benefit from each other rather than you being bitter about it at present and holding it within. If you find a mismatch between your efforts and what the company is offering looking elsewhere and finding a compatible match doesn’t seem like an unlikely option as well.

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Lost motivation

After a successful 10 years from management trainee to senior level manager, now at 33, which most people find a remarkable achievement, I find myself de-motivated and a lack of interest in what I do. I’m stumped as to what is happening and why.    

Ans: Working rigorously for so many years and achieving success might also lead to a phenomenon called ‘burnout’ wherein one feels as if s/he has maxed out all the efforts into the task and can no longer do it. Taking a short break or a sabbatical could help you look at things from a different perspective and also encourage you to consider other interesting options which could be motivating as well.