Sometimes in life we are caught up in a peer situation where you have to choose where you stand, it is the same in a workplace. Do you join in a team outing on a Saturday where weekends are precious to you and your family or do you opt out? Do you jump in and contribute to gossip about the new guy who everyone hates? It is almost hard to say no when suddenly you are diminished to a tiny figure trying to give in to peer pressure so you can fit in… But you tend to forget, in the workplace, team spirit is an important aspect when comes to promotion and appraisal, unlike in a school setting, where there are no result repercussions if you hang out with the nerds or the plastics.

Here are some workplace situations that you may cross path with… You decide your own fate if you wish to cave into peer pressure or stick to your beliefs.

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1) Gossips around the pantry

Tea break!! Everyone gathers in groups and tend to share gossips and tidbits of their personal and work life with one another, trying to spice up the drone of arranging files and typing letters after letters.

Pros:

– You get to know the first-hand news of almost everything from who is the boss’s hottest favourite employee to what the office new girl had for lunch.

– You may get the impression of someone from bad / good experience hearsay.

– Use of such news in a positive way might help you after all, knowledge is power.

Cons:

– You will be expected to contribute as well. A difficult task on your conscience if you are someone who hates talking behind someone’s back.

– You might get yourself tangled and involve in an awkward situation.

– There might be malicious gossips and it’s hard to break away once you join the cliche even when you reach the point of enough is enough.

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2) Team Outing

Your boss just called out for a round of beer on Friday night after work and you know it will never be just one round. Past few events have ended around midnight and you really hate it when you have to drive home in your tired drunken state especially when you live two hours journey away from the office.

Pros:

– You get to see the other side of your colleagues and mingle around without the formalities in office.

– You may even get to know your boss better and vice versa.

– If you have a new guy in your team, it will break the ice with him or her easily over drinks.

Cons:

– You might get into an accident and hurt yourself or others (don’t ever drink & drive!!).

– You may lose precious personal time to rest and recuperate.

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3) Dinner & Dance

Ahh.. The annual dinner & dance for the whole company. It can be that or even a whole weekend retreat for everyone to have a holiday getaway. As much as you love joining others, as every year goes by, the theme gets more ridiculous and entertainment as boring year by year.

Pros:

– Almost the same as above except you get to mingle with the big guns and other departments.

– The chance to network with other folks in other departments can create opportunities for your lateral move.

Cons:

– I don’t really see a big con in this especially if the event is only held once a year. Unless it is not the time you are concern about but other factors like food (they don’t provide for your dietary requirements like vegetarian) or insensitive themes (borderline sexual harassment), I would speak to HR for resolution before boycotting.

Have you face such situation where you need to choose? How did you handle it? Share with us your experience in the comments below!

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10 replies on “To Join or Not to Join

  1. Good thing I don’t have a job yet! Haha but in all seriousness, this is a great resource. Brings awareness to more than just the positives–good to be aware before you even start!

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    1. Then you are quite fortunate not to put yourself in the situation where you have to choose between your ‘me’time and spending more time at ‘work’ socializing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  2. When I still worked outside the house, or now when I listen to my husbands stories, I always thought and think; ‘Are we still in high school?’…
    And what amazed me the most; men are big gossip tellers too!
    Good post again, Kally, XxX

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