Matthew Gates 3m 816 #paranoia
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Guidelines for Dealing with Paranoia at Work
When it comes to any job, you are not going to be safe ever. In the work world today, everyone is replaceable and while everyone makes mistakes, there are certain things that anyone can do that can get them fired. Usually, when hired at any job, every new employee goes through the proper training in order to learn the job and operations of the business. This process usually lasts a few weeks up to three months, often the same period of time that new employees are under heavy scrutiny and review. It is at this time that a new employee should learn to develop a healthy paranoia at work.
Almost all employers will use scare tactics and conditioning in the training process to try and shape the employee into the role model they are looking for in a worker. They may assign the new employee another ideal employee or manager to supervise the actions and even instill the typical paranoia or fear. The new employee should take all these warnings seriously and learn how the company wants him or her to act, behave, and interact with employees of the company and customers or clients that the company may deal with.
A new employee should learn to keep personal matters at home and when arriving at work, leave all their problems at the door until they leave. While it is okay to find a co-worker to confide in and learn to trust, personal matters should still always be discussed lightly and kept to a minimum.
There are several types of culture within the workplace that most companies train employees to learn and many other companies expect new employees to already know. These cultures are:
Corporate culture focuses on how employees should behave in the workplace, how they should interact with each other in the workplace, and how they should conduct themselves in the workplace.
Client or Customer culture solely focuses on how employees behave, interact, and present themselves to the clients. An employee must develop good friendly customer service skills and interact on a meaningful level that engages the client to feel they are dealing with a professional business and a professional employee who knows their job well. Focusing on client culture is important for any business, as it is the business that thrives because of its clients.
Employee culture focuses on the individual employee, from self-improvement, to continuously learning new things about the business and tasks assigned, to reducing mistakes to nonexistent, to conducting oneself as a professional; and especially how the employee actually is viewed by clients and other employees.
After an employee has learned the cultures within the business, he or she must develop a healthy paranoia in the workplace in order to ensure work is accurate and efficient. This healthy paranoia includes:
- Showing up on time everyday, taking proper lunch hours, and leaving in an appropriate manner
- Dressing appropriately for work
- Keeping all non-work related material to a minimum on a work computer
- Making sure that office space and desk are fairly organized and clean
- Reading all instructions, assignments, and tasks carefully and understanding them clearly before starting the new project
- Print out the instructions and use it as a checklist if this will help you reduce common mistakes
- Asking questions to the right people (supervisor, upper management, boss, etc.)
- Double and triple checking over work to ensure there are no mistakes being made
- Carefully wording emails or anything with a chat log to co-workers and clients accurately
- Carefully thinking before speaking to co-workers and clients
- Delivering the most accurate and clear information to co-workers and clients
- Engaging with other employees on a professional level and keeping the personal level to a minimum
- Causing as little distraction as possible to avoid gaining attention from bosses or co-workers
There are plenty of other healthy paranoia that can be developed, but these are a great starting point for protecting yourself, protecting your job, and looking like a professional. There is also another side to it: Becoming too paranoid at work or developing unhealthy paranoid.
This may occur when the new employee fears the job so much that it is no longer an enjoyable place to work, goes home fearing the loss of a job, or develops normal or intense anxieties when dealing or facing bosses, co-workers, or clients. This usually occurs more often with jobs that require extreme attention to detail and companies who are more unforgiving concerning employee mistakes.
The best way to deal with this extreme paranoia is to develop conscious strategies for effectively becoming a better employee such as making checklists, writing an activity log (summary or detail of your workday and tasks you performed at specific times), following the list mentioned above, or working with a friendly co-worker who is empathetic and willing to help you develop a more healthier paranoia.