Do You Love Your Job But Your Co-Workers … Not So Much?

by Joe Lavelle on March 7, 2010

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We all know that each business comes with its own office culture.  Maybe you work in an environment in which everyone sits quietly in their own cubicles and leaves the office exactly at 5:00pm with barely a wave goodbye.  Maybe you don’t even know if the person next to you is married or enjoys watching football on the weekend.  What if you are the type that wants to celebrate birthdays in the break room or form a company softball league?  Or, you might find yourself in an industry that is dominated by youth and, with your 40th birthday quickly approaching, you feel like an ancient and overlooked relic.

What do you do when you love your line of work but you are not happy with the people who surround you?  This is a question that CNN asked several professionals for a recent article on its website.  One young man in Dallas believes that he lost his job simply because he did not join his co-workers for regular happy hours.  A woman in San Diego left what she thought would be a wonderful and creative career because she was ostracized by her peers in the office for no apparent reason.

We humans are social creatures.  Generally speaking, we thrive on interaction with, and acceptance from, other people.  So, at what point does what would otherwise be the perfect step forward in your profession become unbearable due to your colleagues?  Should you stick it out, take it upon yourself to try and change the existing office culture, or leave for more pleasant surroundings?

In my book Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail, I offer many tactics for interacting with others in a professional setting.  I believe that by following the steps I put forward, you can improve your relationships with co-workers and supervisors in almost any office.  I also realize that one person cannot be responsible for changing the entire mindset of a company.  But, who knows what a few small choices on your part could do?

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