From the classroom to the workplace: Peer Pressure

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 'peer pressure' can be defined as the influence that a peer group, observers or an individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform the group norms.

A person affected by peer pressure may or may not want to belong to these groups or norms. Generally peer pressure is assumed to be only centrally located in the classroom between minors, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Workplaces today are becoming more and more team focused and generally an employer will hire staff with similar values and attitudes which thus make up a "corporate culture" and all the employees share in that culture. But when a staff member comes on board and finds it difficult to mellow in to that culture and then starts feeling pressured to do so, for example being invited out for "regular Friday evening drinks" or taking part in lotto syndicates. So peer pressure doesn't just stop in the classroom, unfortunately it extends into the workplace too.

The sad thing is, employees, may feel that are obligated to perform things out of what they are comfortable doing, and like I said earlier, it may be Friday night drinks or a male/female colleague asking you out on a date. Peer pressure generally occurs when the fine line between 'professional' and 'personal' become blurred.

The unfortunate thing is that peer pressure at work is hard to identify and there are no laws against 'workplace cultures and norms" so simply put, if you are having trouble fitting in with your colleagues and are finding yourself succumbing to peer pressure, either speak directly with your manager in a confidential setting, or start looking for another job.

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