Enduring it all for the love of the workplace...

Enduring it all for the love of the workplace...

Women are known to take workplace relationships personally and invest more emotions at work. Sahana Prasad looks at  how this may affect bigger career judgements.

 “I was complacent and as snug as a bug in a rug,” she said with a little laugh. “I had no reason to complain. I was a senior employee, drew a good salary and more than anything else, I loved my work and workplace.

There was a song on my lips when I left for work. I joked around with colleagues and considered workplace my second home,” she became thoughtful as she continued, “I didn’t think of moving to another place. I didn’t focus on my career and instead of furthering it, I let it float along. Come to think of it, I didn’t even grab the choices offered to me; I was so ensconced in my comfort zone.”

Sounds familiar? Does the comfort of your job make you reluctant to think of another job, another place? Are you so much in love with your workplace (not work) that you wouldn’t leave it, even if there was a better offer? Many women feel secure in their workplaces, no matter how stressful it is, especially when they have been in that place for a long period of time. The primary difference between men and woman could be that women “take things to heart,” and tend to take workplace relationships personally and invest more emotions at work. Unlike men, women often relate to their co-workers on an emotional level, which in turn makes a workplace either a friendly place or a hostile one, depending on the vibes they share with colleagues.

Work is your passion and a means of livelihood. It brings in salary and perks; it gives you confidence and a goal in life. It also brings a social aspect to your life. If you love your work, you do not have to work, goes the saying. Workplace is just a means to realise and live your passion and dreams. Work is dependent only on the limits you have set for yourself and workplace can be a place to pursue it or toe someone else’s line.

Says Deepika, a teacher-entrepreneur, “I was very passionate about teaching and experimenting in the field. But my place of work asked me to stick to the syllabus and was not open to anything new. I quit my ‘workplace’ but continued my ‘work’ somewhere else.” Maya Agastya, a banking professional, gives another perspective, when she says, “I have a transferrable job because of which I can never get attached to a ‘place’. I know my transfer orders will come promptly and I will have to move on. But as long as I am in a particular branch, I love my work as well as my workplace”. She agrees wholeheartedly that women should cut down on their emotional attachments and be more “professional” and “practical” at work.

There is often a thin line between being emotional and being passionate about work. As a rule, women tend to be more relationship-oriented than men due to their hormonal makeup and its related activities in the brain. Leadership seminars and workshops generally advise women not to take things personally at work and to steer clear of getting emotionally attached to projects/ clients / colleagues.

While bonding at the workplace may work out to be a pre-requisite to quality work, not to speak of positive mental conditions, it shouldn’t be a hurdle to one’s career. Moving on to a new place of work requires a lot of grit and adjustment, but a cosy current workplace must not cloud a women’s judgment on taking a call and surging ahead to better opportunities. It takes courage to introspect as to where the heart is - is it in the work or the workplace?

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