Wednesday, July 25, 2007

There's No Crying in Baseball

A question frequently asked by new graduates is: “which is harder, school or work?” People often answer: “work is much easier because when you are done at the end of the day, there is no homework!” (well, that was not always the case in my job! )

I think that the main difference between the two is soft skills. You can not survive at work, especially in corporate America, if you don’t build the necessary soft skills (work management, stress management, team work, etc.)

Stress is a big issue in corporate America and people do not necessarily know how to deal with it. Remember, your coworkers are not your family and they are not your friends either, they are your coworkers. They have different personalities, personal problems, and hidden agendas that you might no necessarily know. When stress hits, reactions vary: people might yell, get frustrated, snap for no reason or small reasons that act as a trigger.

I used to take this very personally and cried many times… until a very strong lady became my manager (amazing manager!), she took me aside and told me:
There’s no crying in baseball! If you want to cry, you can get jobs where women are allowed to show emotions and compassion. You can be a teacher, a nurse, a helper in a non-profit organization, etc. but if you choose to be in the tough world of corporate America, you will need to get a thicker skin. Unfortunately, some men still do not consider women as equal competitors; you can not give them any chance to confirm this nonsense belief. Men automatically interpret your tears as a sign of weakness. You can cry when you go home, but don’t ever show any emotions at work. You are as strong and smart (or even smarter) than a lot of men out there!

This speech changed my life. It was one of those ‘Aha’ moments. I have never seen a man cry at work but have encountered many girls that broke down in tears, including myself. Women tend to be perfectionists, take things to heart and even personally sometimes. This is predictable, as from childhood, girls are allowed to show emotions while boys are encouraged to suppress them (how many times did you hear mothers say: “you can not cry, you are a little boy!”)

Today is the day where you promise yourself that as a Biz Girl, you will never ever show a tear or any sort of emotions at work unless it is passion, excitement and enthusiasm.
At home, you can cry, eat a pint of ice cream, and watch ‘Sex and the City’ to feel better. But the next morning put on your best outfit, drink a big cup of confidence and walk in your office with that Biz Girl attitude of yours :-D

Look out for my next posting titled ‘Time is Money

The Biz Girl

1 comment:

Reagan said...

Love this entry! I have a a feeling I know who this advise came from.... :-P