Home Uncategorized Bad Habit Slimdown, Week 12: Being Paranoid

Bad Habit Slimdown, Week 12: Being Paranoid


paranoia-at-workBy J. Mason
Online Career Tips Editor

Getting a scare about your status in a current position is not uncommon, but it shouldn’t be something that rules your day-to-day operations. Say for example you keep misspelling the name of someone in leadership, or you copied the wrong person on an email, these things happen occasionally it just needs to be handled with grace. What about the possibly venomous situation of job envy or competition? Having a co-worker step on your toes more than a couple of times can set you off into hostile paranoia territory. Before going to your dark place keep a few things in check.

Know Your Role

Before you turn into Rambo on the warpath there needs to be an understanding of your roles and responsibilities. Sit down for a quick one-on-one with your boss to list out these daily and miscellaneous tasks. For the visual workers type up this list and keep a printout at eye line level at your desk. The constant reminder should help to keep some feelings of insecurity at bay.

Chat Before it Escalates

Let’s say a certain colleague keeps asking to be part of your meetings, or wants to put their hands on some of your larger priorities…how should you react? Unless your boss has explicitly defined them to be somewhat of a mentor, or a resource for information on those specific tasks it doesn’t hurt to ask about their desire to be part of the project plan. It could be that this person wants to expand their work experience within the department. The important thing to remember is to not jump to conclusions. You can be frank when you ask about their involvement, but steer clear of being accusatory.

Back-Up Your Work

Save everything. Everyone should have a file to cover themselves. Whether that file is kept in emails, or a spreadsheet, certain transactions and conversations need to be documented. This can be a valuable resource if you need to recall a date, or outlined expectations from project managers. There is nothing wrong with covering yourself, just be smart about how you do it.

If all else fails do not resort to the “everyone is out to get me” mentality. Have a review with your manager if you have real suspicions of sabotage to your position and make sure to have some concrete reasons. Making a show of your paranoia can make you seem insecure not only about yourself, but in the work you do. For every instance of self doubt you have plant a seed of confidence in its place. If you get one upped in a meeting, take note of the typically obnoxious behavior and thank the contributor for the great feedback. Or if you’re feeling crowded on a project offer to assist them on something you may have more experience on; this could be a great way to break some tension in your relationship with the person. Be optimistic and upbeat, but don’t be oblivious.

How did you do with our last bad habit, idea dependency? Make time to map out original concepts if you’re still struggling to wean yourself from your creative go-to. Dedicating yourself to writing things down may bring forward more ideas than you thought you were capable of.



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