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Workplace Hurdles

I hate being the new person at work. You’re coming into an environment where there are unspoken rules and expectations and it’s up to you to discover them. New workplaces also come with the potential to form some really bad habits. Boundaries that we’ve practiced for several years are thrown out the window as we try to fit in, show our value, and be likable. Here are some frequent hurdles that I and my clients have experienced as well as tips to avoid them.

Eating Habits      If your new job has you working out of an office building, several employees may elect to go out to eat for lunch…several times a week. Your hard-earned money quickly starts going down the drain, but what are you to do? You want the chance to build those relationships, so here are some tips.

             State your boundary: “I only go out to eat on Fridays”

Pick your day and communicate it to the group. Let them know that you appreciate the invite, and you do plan on going, but that it is not in your budget to eat lunch out more than X times a week. This will prevent the group from assuming that you never eat out and therefore just stop inviting you all together.

              Alternatively, create a boundary for yourself: “I will only order things from the appetizer, soup, or salad section”

These menu options are typically cheaper than even the lunch menu.

Remember, this is YOUR money that you spend YOUR time earning. Communicating and reinforcing your boundaries may just provide the courage for someone else to do the same.

Work Schedule     Some places are really good at communicating up front if a job will require overtime. But I have witnessed several companies fail to communicate overtime expectations to their salaried workers. When interviewing, make it clear what your boundaries are and ask what the expectation is. If you’re already with the company and feel blindsided, enforce boundaries as soon as possible.

                State your boundary: “I don’t mind working until 6 or 7 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, but every other evening of the week I have family obligations and will be leaving promptly at 5 pm”

If this is a deal breaker for the company, they may elect to part ways, but more likely than not, they’re pushing you to see how much free labor they can get out of you.

Remember, you’re working to take care of your family, whom you love and adore. Every time you break a commitment to your family, for the sake of work, you’re telling them that they are not important. And even though we know that is not true, it doesn’t change the hurt feelings and resentment that can start to grow.

If these are some of the areas you’re struggling in and would like help setting healthy boundaries, please reach out today!