Agony Aunt helps you to manage different personality types at work

Teasing colleagues

I am a 23-year-old boy who has recently shifted to Mumbai from Dubai. I’ve recently gotten employment in an ad agency with a very good reputation. However, since I’ve joined, I’ve noticed the girls giggling behind my back and always staring at me, passing sweet nothings to each other. Recently, a male colleague told me I was officially the “eye candy” around here and almost everyone called me that behind my back. As much as I would like to take that as a compliment, this behaviour is clearly hindering work for me and my professional dealings with the women. I feel they do not take me seriously and keep taking my requests and orders jokingly. What should I do to make them behave professionally?

Ans: The office environment would be quite difficult for you to handle with so many co-workers behaving unprofessionally with you. In a situation like this, approaching the HR would usually be the first option in order to bring it to their notice that the environment is causing a hindrance into your work performance. This helps secure your stand as well doesn’t backfire if and when things go out of hand. The HR can intervene to create space for you to express the discomfort and ensure that understanding is achieved on the co-workers part.

The old enemy

I am a 24-year-old boy working in an event company in Mumbai. My senior at work also happens to be my senior from college. Back then we had a lot animosity between us when it came to sports and childish quarrels. I have obviously outgrown this and am here to prove myself as a successful manager. My senior however doesn’t seem to be getting over it and is now sabotaging all my hard work here. He tries to spread false rumours about me, makes fun of my mistakes and tries to prove me incompetent. He’s trying his hardest to get rid of me. I’m new here and don’t know who to rely on. How do I educate him on growing up?

Ans: As kids ‘calling truce’ would usually work as having a playmate was more important than prolonging the animosity. You both somewhere still hold the grudge against each other and the only way to resolve this seems to be having a conversation to lay down the differences and figure out ways to resolve them as both of you are going to be working together. If there is some other senior person who could intervene and help smooth the tide, could be another measure you could take.

Creativity is calling

I’m 33 years of age and have been working at my current company for over 10 years. Since the past two months, I’ve realised I want to change my field of profession and get into the creative line of work. However, my work here is very stable when it comes to aspects of finance, travel and environment. I know the change I want to make is drastic and am very scared to do so. I have applied for jobs elsewhere but haven’t gotten any. I can’t seem to understand if I just need a break or if am actually done with my profession. Could this be burn out?

Ans: Burn out looks different for different people. You aspire to do something which is creative and find yourself unable to take the plunge as things in current job are more certain. I understand that being in early 30’s brings about some apprehension and with no job security to look forward to, anxiety also looms around. You could take a few days off and think about what is it that would make you happy in the long run and accordingly make a choice as opposed to limiting your options by stating that a creative job in sight will alone help you get out of this current job.

Changed co-workers

I’m a 22-year-old girl working in my father’s company as a manager. No one knew I was the CEO’s daughter in the start and I had good relationships with all my peers and seniors. However, they somehow found out I was his daughter and now their behaviour towards me has changed completely. They don’t speak to me or want to hang out with me. My relationship here has become purely professionally with everyone and I sense a bit of fear in their attitude towards me. I feel isolated and ignored. How do I make them be normal towards me again?

Ans: Icebreaking at this stage in the form where you involve yourself in the common company activities should help. People have a certain perception regarding working with someone who could have authority in some form over them; thus, the cold behaviour. In order to thaw the coldness, hold a team meeting with the members who you were close to and address them with the change in their behaviour and how there could be a better way to deal with the situation.

Restrictive Jobs

I am working at an IT firm for the past six months. This is my second job after being unemployed for a year and a half. I can’t afford to lose this job as it is helping me monetarily. But what I am struggling with is the fact that the job is very restrictive in terms of what I can do and what I can’t. I feel my potential is underutilised. I am not sure how far I can stretch it.

Ans: Many times our expectations are quite high due to various factors in play. Somewhere, your expectations are not being met at the current job as far as complete job satisfaction is concerned. Take into consideration as to what is this job offering you and whether you are able to deliver the same, monetarily when would it be likely to shift to another job, whether any other job would be different than this one or you have to go through the motions of the job in order to reach the next level.

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