Monthly Archives: November 2013

A display of masks

What Roles Do You Play at Work?

Last week, I wrote about the how the roles we play at work can influence our self-identity, focusing on a couple of “bad guy” roles like the one played by Wreck-It Ralph. But that’s not the only role that can have a negative influence on our self-image.

Roles We Play

The Drone: Doing the same thing, over and over, day after day, can drain you of energy and creativity, especially when you have little control over the details of your work. Your mental and physical exhaustion can spill over into the rest of your life, and your attitude can become one of simply enduring the time you have left. Once, while working a particular difficult and tedious one summer in college, I kept myself entertained – if you can call it that – by mentally calculating how much money I was making every minute I worked and keeping a running tab on my pay. Maybe that’s fine for a summer job, but what happens when you’ve been doing that for years?

The Doormat: Like the Drone, the Doormat has little power over his work – at least, any power to say “no” about any part of his work. When any conflict arises, the Doormat expects to simply roll over and allow the other side to win. It might be the boss, customers, coworkers, clients – it doesn’t really matter. If the Doormat has any opinions, he’s expected to keep them to himself and say “yes” to whatever is being proposed. Continue reading What Roles Do You Play at Work?