Why so nervous

Friends turned foes

My close friend and I are employed at the same company and in the same position. Initially, we were both extremely happy that we were together and could always rely on each other, but that changed since our higher-ups told us they were only promoting one person from our branch this quarter. Since then, my friend and I have started becoming increasingly competitive towards each other, and we barely even talk at work any more. I really do not want to lose the friendship that we both have, but I also do not want to lose this promotion to him. We keep getting jealous of one another when one of us is praised. Please help.

- In situations like this, while it is extremely difficult to, it is important to differentiate the personal and the professional. Once this distinction is made, and the friendship is removed from the promotion aspect, you will see that there are lots of ways in which this new competition can be positive. As you mentioned, the two of you can rely on each other and learn from each other. Achievements and mistakes made by one can teach the other dos and don’ts respectively. Whichever one is promoted can provide the other with higher-level professional contacts and benefits! And also, it is important to know that this won’t be either of your first or last promotion. There will be plenty of opportunities to catch up in terms of rank. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your friend and make them see the situation the same way. This will, hopefully, motivate both of you as well as restore your friendship to it’s former glory.

Unhappy with workplace

A company that my friend works at recently took all their employees on a day-long trip to a fancy beach. My friend also keeps telling me how the company he works at often does these trips and even offers discounts to the employees working there. Compared to him, the company I work at has never taken us out on any trips and makes every employee pay the same as customers for products. I have started feeling very dissatisfied and de-motivated at my job due to this, and I do not know what I should do. Please help.

- The external flourishes that a company provides to its employees are once-in-a-while perks, but they say nothing about long-term quality of the working experience. The two should not be confused. It is possible that while your friend’s company takes them on trips and so on, overall their employees are not as happy or satisfied as the ones working in your company. If you are otherwise having a pleasant experience at your company, that in itself is something to be cherished. Trips can always be self-funded with friends of your choice.

Why so nervous

Why so nervous?

I have a job interview with a company I have been aiming to work at since a very young age and I am becoming increasingly nervous as the day approaches. I cannot mess up this opportunity since I have devoted a lot of time and energy to make myself a suitable employee of the company. However, every time I try to rehearse for the interview, I start rambling and stuttering on my words and my point gets lost in my incoherent speech. I feel completely terrified and will surely fail if I do not speak properly. Is there anything I can do?

- Performance anxiety often cripples an individual to do well in the field that s/he is qualified for. In your case it seems performance anxiety is the cause of you failing to speak openly in the job interview. You can approach a psychologist who can teach you few techniques to overcome anxiety. These techniques are practical based and often yield results that serve as a learning ground. You have also made this interview as something which is very important aspect of your life than simply treating it as an interview. Changing this view could also be helpful in approaching this interview realistically.

‘Disconnected’ employee

My company’s primary tool of communication is emails; therefore to set up meetings or ask doubts, emails are used as opposed to any other form of communication. However, the internet connection in my society is extremely weak, therefore I rarely get to check my emails or reply to any as well. This has caused me to miss multiple meetings and miss important information about the company’s plans. I have even turned in work too early or too late on many occasions. My boss has got fed up with my behaviour and says if I don’t reply or check my emails any more, I will receive a demotion. I am really scared of upsetting my boss, but the internet connection in my society cannot be fixed and I do not have enough money to buy my own Wi-Fi router. Please help.

Ans: It might be of merit to you to take a friend’s help in this case. If you have a few trustworthy friends within the company, maybe give them access to your workplace email id or else request your team and boss to mark your friend on the emails meant for you. Then you could work out a system wherein you can call your friend a couple of times in a day to take updates on happenings and schedules. Between two or three friends, you could split the applicable workdays and weekends. Also, if your work is terribly affected, try and speak to your boss about your financial circumstances. Maybe the company could help you by subsidising the cost of a good Wi-Fi router or mobile data pack for you. Do not fret about the threat of demotion. If you deliver good results on the demands made to you, your work will speak for itself, despite the lag in communication.

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