Q&A With Jane
As a management student during my college years, my seniors as well as the faculty made sure our batch was aware of the fact that the corporate world is full of highly competitive people. At that time, I thought competition is a part of every profession which one has to deal with in a healthy manner. I read a couple of articles online which made me believe that a little competition helps in motivating people to improve on their work efficiency. On getting recruited in the campus itself for a multinational finance company, I had my hopes high that this would be an opportunity of a lifetime and I will get to learn something new every day. Well, things definitely turn out the way I expected them to be.
Right from my first day at the office, my manager made it clear to me that I have to be the best in my job and must go to any extent to achieve that kind of progress. I took this instruction in a positive way as I thought all he was doing was motivating me to work well. But apparently, he was simply getting me in the spirit of the workplace. Each and every employee over here only thinks about attaining success for which they can even pull down their colleagues. I wanted to establish cordial relations with the people I interact but nobody to open to it. The competitive vibe in the air has created enemies within one team itself which makes it really difficult to work. My colleagues don’t even share a courteous greeting instead just give cold stares as they think that I might be a threat to their job. Even when I need some guidance as I am new here, nobody is ready to help. There is a lot of
The brutal and straightforward answers to Hr-related queries and concerns.
jealousy and insecurity around. I don’t know how to deal with this. Can you please help me out?
I would firstly like to clarify that whatever you heard about cut-throat competition being inevitable in a corporate culture is absolutely true. It has been prevalent for as long as one can remember and will increase with the rise in educational professionals. There was a time when a majority of the population was not as highly educated as they are right now and hence people with expertise in the field were hired. But as the literacy rate is increasing in almost all the parts of the world, it is expected that competition in the professional arena will also increase. This and many other economic factors have made people highly competitive in the workplace. Initially competition was a healthy phenomenon as it motivated people to do better at their job. But sadly, a lot of negativity is spread in the workplace in the name of competition. Due to the envious nature of some people, it becomes difficult for others to function smoothly in such an environment.
There have been cases when jealousy has led people to pull down others or try to disrupt the work of their colleagues in an office. Though this happens only in extreme situations, it is necessary to be wary of such overly-ambitious employees. Apart from this, recent studies by psychiatrists have also proved that cut-throat competition is a major factor behind depression among the working adults. Due to such a competitive corporate culture, a number of people face a conflict between their personal and professional lives. They are in a constant dilemma as to how to excel at both the places. This is when
anxiety kicks in. It will be wrong to blame the co-workers for instilling such an environment at the workplace. There are certain companies which promote competition even if they are aware that it might get unhealthy. This is because all these companies care about are numbers and they are ready to jeopardize their employees’ mental state if that helps them attain impressive profits. In the long run, it destroys any kind of cordial relations the employees share within themselves. As a result of such factors, an employee might gradually lose the will to work as he will have nothing to look forward to in the office. This will adversely affect his productivity which will harm his career. Thus it is important to maintain a positive outlook even if the people around are highly competitive.
As soon as you feel that stress is affecting your relations with your peers or family members, it is a sign that something should be done about it. At such a time, try to introspect in the rapport you share with your manager or your team members. If you sense any negative feelings from any of them, make it clear that you are here to do your work and not to pull down others. By clarifying this, your colleagues will be ascertained that you hold no threat to them and will behave with you normally. Despite this, it is also important for you to be the best at what you do. The external stimuli must not influence your work efficiency. Instead of becoming a part of the competition to prove your worth, be on top of the game right from the beginning. Be extremely precise in whatever you do, stay updated with the news of your field, follow the disciplinary rules of the office, report to your manager on time and nobody will find a reason to point fingers at you.
The best way to steer clear of such a negative competitive spirit is to never indulge in any kind of gossip at the workplace. Office gossip can hurt people’s feelings as it is usually about discussing the negative traits of an employee. Once you get involved in it, you will spiral deeper into it and will become one of the back-stabbing competitors of your office which is the last thing you want to be. It is ideal to lose yourself in work to keep away from such a competitive environment. If you are busy all day, you won’t have time to spare behind such meager issues. This will ultimately result in your own growth and professional satisfaction.