Contemporary Psychological Challenges at Work By Ela Erozan Gursel

Contemporary Psychological Challenges at Work By Ela Erozan Gursel	What are the challenges we are facing on a daily basis? Sensitive workplace politics, tight deadlines, sectoral competition, race for promotion… What about pshychological challenges? Your fears, insecurities, dissatisfaction and others’ perceptions of your success… Too many things to think and fear about.

Alain de Botton, a contemporary philosopher, categorizes people into two groups at his TED talk. The first ones are snobs. De Botton defines snob as a person who takes a small part of you and uses that to come to a complete vision of who you are. In a humorous manner, he says we all encounter snobbery within minutes at a party with conversation breaker or sealer of “What do you do?” question. Based on the answer you give to this question, people are either interested to converse with you more or they look at their watch and come up with an excuse in order to rush to another person.

The second type of person is the opposite of snob. It is your mother… not necessarily your mother but the ideal mother; a person who accepts you the way you are… without caring about your achievements at all. Unfortunately, other than old friends and family there aren’t many people in this category. To de Botton, most people want to befriend you because of your position in the social hierarchy.

Our main fear of failing in our careers stems from this type of categorization.  We want to look good as a professional, be popular among colleagues and acquaintances and gain respect in the society. Yes, we also want to gain a good living but not all of us are very materialistic. We’re more interested in rewards such as luxury goods, sport cars, expensive holidays so on… Yes we fear to fail but we also fear of not being very successful. We should not be average, we should excel in what we do and exceed expectations! And don’t forget the expectations that the society puts on us are very high today.

There comes another problem with high expectations – the pressure to be better than others. We should be better so we don’t envy people, so that people envy us! We compare ourselves with others in similar age, background and profession. We become motivated and happy if we’re better off professionally in this comparison. If not, we feel like a looser! We self create another insecurity and set another personal goal to beat the colleague or classmate-turned-competitor so that we can feel happy again!

In sum, it is not wrong to say that the society and our very own egos are the worst sources of stress and demotivation.

 elaerozangurselEla Erozan Gürsel writes a weekly column named “Değişim Yelpazesi ” on global business trends for Dünya Gazetesi on behalf of Datassist for almost two years. Her feature topics include: green energy; climate change; impacts of financial crisis on companies, sectors and regions; innovative technologies in sciences, human resources and management; social networks transforming business and politics; changing dynamics of marketing and branding.

She also writes articles for international magazines published in Singapore.

Prior to her writing career, she worked at Datassist as a Project Manager in a project that combines human resources and mobile communications with the aim to connect blue-collar workers and employers through mobile phones. Before engaging in this exciting project, she was in pharmaceutical sales working for a multinational company. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC, majoring in International Studies with a concentration on International Business and Europe. She worked in Washington D.C. as an Account Manager at a boutique telemarketing firm that specializes in fund raising and publication renewals. She speaks Turkish, English, French, and Spanish. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.

All these projects are inspiring for artists, students and general public, who would like to be proud of the richness of the Turkish culture. For these cultural projects to last and prosper, museums need to be financially supported by the government agencies, private sector and international foundations. I hope Baksı Museum will keep up its creative projects with the help of professionals’ efforts and get the attention of potential sponsors in order to further contribute to the local economy and art.



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