Peer pressure can have a strong and detrimental impact on anyone regardless of age or stage in life. It is most often talked about in schools and colleges, where it is used to reference what is happening to young people and the way that they influence each other’s behaviour. However, it is important to know that peer pressure is also at work in organizations and it has a great impact on the performance of many people.
Most organizations talk about the corporate or organizational culture. They are referencing the climate or way of being that is generally practiced throughout the organization. When individuals take up a new position in an organization or even transfer from one section to another, they could find that the way things are usually done varies significantly from what they have been doing. What are some of the signs that your organization’s culture may not be helpful to your career success?
- Are there individuals who are criticizing you for working too quickly?
- Are you being discouraged from volunteering for activities?
- Are you being discouraged from speaking up, asking questions or offering an opinion?
- Are there individuals who are unhappy about their job but refuse to do anything to create any change in their own lives?
To be successful in their organizations, it is important that individuals not lose their perspective about what they want to achieve for themselves and why they opted to join the organization in the first place. It is not easy to stand alone instead of giving in to the prevailing majority. However, it may be helpful to identify what matters most to you. It may help to think about what you could potentially achieve from the experience of doing what you know you should do. To do this, you can start by following some of these tips for continued success:
- Identify or recall your vision for yourself as a professional.
- You need to be clear about who you are going to be and how you are going to behave in your professional role. You have the right to make this decision for yourself and be guided only by your own perspective on the situation.
- You should also be willing to accept the consequences of the actions you take. If you are unable to accept the outcomes from your actions, then you will need to re-evaluate what you are willing to do.
- Identify what is most important to you. Is it more important to achieve your own objectives or to fit in with others?
- Clarify for yourself and for others, the image that you want decision makers in the organization to have about you. Do you want them to know who you are and see you as a professional? Then consistently project that image and do not engage in activities that can mar your brand or paint you as unprofessional.
- Recognize that you will gain from striving to give your best in your job. It is true that the results may not always come immediately. However, positioning yourself for future opportunities and recognition takes time and you need to be dedicated to making it happen.
- Be open to potential opportunities and recognize that most times, opportunities come disguised as hard work. Don’t let the need to put in extra effort deter you from potential long term rewards.
- Always look for the lessons in your current situation. Knowledge is never wasted and can only help you to grow and achieve continued success in your career.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live