I’m female, 29 years old and still single. I have never had any serious boyfriend; this has been my serious concern. I don’t think I’m plain looking. It’s just that I have so many things to do; multitasking is the rule in our office. I report to three bosses, all of whom have their priorities. “Rush ‘yan” is all I hear. One of them requires me to put on my cell phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a result of my busyness, I’m seen by my officemates as unfriendly and a loner and that I don’t want to socialize. So they don’t invite me to join them. I have no time to go to the beauty parlor to have a new hairstyle or to see a dermatologist for a few acne on my face. I have no time to fix myself in the office. I even munch a sandwhich while working during lunch time. My officemates who are also multi-tasked, are able to spend time in cafes and bistros on Friday nights to have fun and to unwind. I just have so many things to do that I go home late and exhausted. I want to look good and change my image this new year. What shall I do?
The answer to your problem of no time lies in your hands. You allow external stressors such as the rush demands of your bosses to stress you so much you have become a slave to work. You do have time if only you make the right choice of a response in a situation and practice assertiveness.
Multi-tasking is a fact of corporate life that employees of all levels need to accept. However, employees like yourself, must learn to “work smart” i.e., to be creative and resourceful so that they are able to do things that need doing at a given time. Even though you have bosses, you can still manage a stressful situation so you don’t get unnecessarily harassed. Complaining to yourself and to others how stressed you are with so much work will only add to your stress. Chronically stressed employee become ineffective; they may accomplish the tasks given to them but they become irritable and impatient with employees of lower status and even with external customers. So the antidote to this is to accept the situation and feel grateful that you are needed by your three bosses and that you have a job. This will make you happy. This will make you smile.
Here are five suggestions to help you develop a new image in the office and elsewhere:
First; Be assertive with your bosses. By assertiveness is meant that you ask respectfully for what you want. List down all the rush jobs your bosses give you. Show these to them and request them to prioritize them for you. In this way, you remove the stress of you having to make the decision on what to do first yourself. Make sure that you come to the office on time. Request if you can stop your work by 7 pm or thereabouts so that you can go home and join your family for meals on weekdays, and on Friday evenings to join your office mates to unwind and relax. However, you tell them that if the task can’t wait until the following day, you are willing to finish it. When you say these things, look at them in the eye with a smile on your face.
Do not assume that your assertiveness will make your bosses angry at you. Think positive. Assume that they will be reasonable, that they will understand that you, just like them, have your own personal needs and wants, and that you satisfy these on your personal time.
Second, take the much needed breaks, no matter what your work load is. Take the 15-minute morning break by getting away from your desk. Perhaps you can go to the pantry or to the office library and take a breather as you drink coffee/tea. Do the same for the 15-minute afternoon break. Take a 15-minute break again at 5:30 pm before you start your overtime (which may be paid or unpaid). You have one hour for lunch. Use it for lunch time with your officemates. Don’t use lunch time for work. If your bosses give you work to do during lunch time, ask, “May I do it after lunch?” And smile.
Third, you do have time on week-ends to go to the beauty parlor or visit a good dermatologist. Invest on a new hairstyle and have yourself made-up that is appropriate for office. Buy a make-up set that looks good on you and that you can use daily. Wake up 30 minutes earlier so you can fix your face and hair. Invest on a new and attractive office wardrobe. There are so many affordable and smart office attire that you can get off the rack. There is absolutely no reason for any woman nowadays not to look good. There are many beauty aids and beauty experts to help you bring out the beauty in you that God has given you when He created you. Looking good will make you feel good. This is part of what you wear every day.
Fourth; Do not wait for your officemates to invite you to join them at meal times or to go out jamming. Take the initiative to invite yourself. When having conversations with them during mealtimes or during night outs, show genuine interest by listening to them when they speak. Share your own experiences, your thoughts and opinions on the topic at hand. Don’t think of work when it is unwinding and relaxing time. Don’t feel guilty. Your bosses should be the one to feel guilty if they deprive you of your private time to do work that may not be really urgent and can wait for the next day.
Fifth, know the birthdays and anniversaries of people you know ¾ relatives, officemates and friends. Send text messages of greetings. If it is your birthday, invest in finger food you can afford such as ensaymada or pizza, to treat your office mates.
In summary, the ONLY way to change your image to your officemates is to change your attitudes and behaviors. Look friendly; be friendly.
There are other things you can do to improve your physical appearance, your personality and your character.
Buy women’s magazines to give you tips on how to improve your face, body, posture, wearing of clothes, etc. Get yourself also a time management book or research in the internet on this topic.
Read self-help books on how to improve your personality and character. Invest one hour a day to read a chapter from such classics as Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, and Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” for a start.
May 2012 bring out real efforts on your part, not half-hearted ones, to be positively different, to look and feel good, to appreciate and love yourself because this is what God wants of you. The new you may just make you attractive to someone who can be a serious boyfriend.
God bless you.
Josie O. Santamaria