The complexities of modern holidays …
By: Dr. Helen Ofosu
The complexities of modern holidays …
Many of us love the winter holiday season, filled with clanging champagne flutes and choirs of cheer, along with many beloved Christmas-themed movies which are also familiar traditions. Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations remind us to try to be kinder, more generous … and often inspire people to be a little bit more social.
Often workplaces shut down for a few days, which provides a much-needed change of pace, but this also allows professional and personal worlds to merge. For example, there are holiday work banquets where spouses and children are invited to mingle in the settings we usually reserve for work. But there can be a downside. As a Career Coach/Career Psychologist and an HR Consultant, I see workplace problems everywhere … even in films. Two Christmas movies really stand out when it comes to what I consider a real HR crisis National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Scrooged – both of which I described in a Christmas 2017 blog Ghosts From HR’s Past …
I’ve been thinking about how certain classic holiday movies would play out today since most were released long before the Internet was even created. I also wonder how some of these characters would be affected in our era of pervasive (and sometimes invasive) social media. For example, 20 years ago, workers who dared to have a wild vacation, or one heck of a New Years Eve office party probably never had to consider countless strangers watching video footage of those situations, or pictures showcasing some of their antics. Nor, could they have conceived these images and recordings could pop up in more personal places such as their bosses/colleagues computer/phone screens. Here is a blog of mine that illustrates this very point of the downside of blurry social media boundaries.
Even without worrying about problematic photos or videos surfacing, it’s wise to be mindful of workplace boundaries. This can be especially complicated and challenging for certain people. As we’re reminded in the whitepaper published by Deloitte in 2018, most of certain populations in the workplace are actively covering up aspects of their identities that they believe are unwelcome and/or stigmatized. This means that they are intentionally downplaying who they are. For instance, “… women are doing it more, LGBT people are doing it more, people of colour are doing it more. And the study also shows that white men cover to a degree as well — almost 50% of the men in their study. They have a political affiliation that’s unlike their peers, or they have a disability, or they are married to a woman of colour.”
With all that said, I do hope that you enjoy the absolute best of the holiday season! Fingers crossed for a light sprinkling of snow for the young and young at heart who enjoy the look of snow with holiday lights at this time of year – but nothing that makes holiday travel difficult. I’ll also take this time to wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019 since I’ll step away from the blog until early in the New Year.
Do you need help navigating the world of work? Contact Dr. Helen today for a free and confidential initial consultation by phone, email, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. If something urgent comes up, I’m also available by a voice or video on Magnifi, an expertise-on-demand app.
Have you ever wished you could get inside the head of a hiring manager? You can. Dr. Helen Ofosu is a Career Coach/Counsellor with a difference. She has worked for organizations to create hiring and screening tools. She’s created countless pre-screening tests, interviews, simulations, and role plays for organizations of all kinds.
Dr. Helen’s training in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology means she is a genuine expert in evaluating work-related behaviours. She uses those skills to help hiring managers tell the difference between people who say the right things during interviews and people who actually deliver on the job. In other words, Dr. Helen understands first-hand how job candidates are assessed.
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