Did Her Workplace Personality Cost This Paralegal a Job?

Or, It’s Not Me, It’s You

Margie, a paralegal, wrote career columnists “JT & Dale Talk Jobs” after she complained to HR about a “hostile, rude co-worker.” She’d noted what she felt to be a “major lack of courtesy, decorum and professionalism” in the workplace, but was completely surprised when the HR director terminated her a week later, not because of her job performance, but because she wasn’t “a good fit” for the firm. She asked J.T. and Dale for some “wise guidance.”

The career advice gurus believe that the definition of “professionalism” in the workplace varies widely, depending on which generation of American workers you talk to. Zappos’ uber-relaxed work culture is specifically highlighted – and available for the world to check out, as in this “HR Dancing Queen” video:

That looks kind of like the Happy Happy Joy Dance I might spontaneously perform after a particularly sweet victory on the legal front. I don’t have a problem with Dancing Queen – as long as she doesn’t do that more than the length of the Youtube video, or 42 seconds per day.

Margie doesn’t indicate anyone was boogying on the job, although she thinks some of her former co-workers spent way too much time on Facebook and making personal calls. But J.T. points out it isn’t Margie’s place to judge her co-workers, and that she may have been the one let go for “hurting the corporate culture by making others feel uneasy about their approach to work.”

Dale suggested that Margie not just look for a job, but also look for an employer that shares her “all-business” approach to work. I would have liked them to address the bigger problem, which is likely the gap in her employment history after being terminated.

What do you think? Do you agree with J.T. & Dale’s advice to Margie? What do you do when you think your co-workers are spending way more time on Facebook than working on their to-do lists for the day? Does it make a difference whether you’re the one having to pick up their slack?

Source:  International Business Times

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