Q: Grabe talaga yung stress sa work these days kasi 'di talaga namin ma-meet yung expectations ng company dahil sa pandemic. Everyone's just expected to do double the work pa. I find myself posting about my feelings on social media tapos pinagsabihan ako na unprofessional daw 'yon. Totoo ba? Should we only be talking about what stresses us out in private?!
With work piling on and no end to the pandemic in sight, people have been experiencing burnout more often, and we express these in different ways. For example, I use humor when I'm stressed and I enjoy reposting or sending work-related memes that hilariously capture why I've been feeling unfocused or unmotivated. Is *that* considered unprofessional?
Professionalism: Is it okay to rant on social media?
Meta coach Sheila Tan tells Cosmopolitan that "some people think that when you're professional, you're not supposed to have emotions. You're supposed to think objectively." But even science says that's not true. "Great decisions are made with emotions and with logic combined."
This is something Sheila wants managers or bosses to understand. When people post about their emotions on social media, it could be a cry for help—or a hint that work conditions aren't the best and adjustments should be made.
But employees also have to be a bit responsible about what they're posting. Sheila says, "If they backstab their boss or if they're just doing something passive-aggressive like quoting someone from work, then that is outright unprofessional. But talking about your emotions and being vulnerable and not really directing it at someone, I'd consider it still being professional. And the more we allow people to be vulnerable, then the more we're able to understand each other and be there for each other."
If you're feeling hesitant about what you're about to post, consider your tone (this advice actually applies to conversations that have nothing to do with work). "People sometimes use Facebook as their journal. They're sad. They're angry. And sometimes, even when giving people feedback, instead of saying, 'I'm hurt,' they say, 'You did this to me.' So my general advice is let's be careful when we talk about emotions and to make it ours. If there's some feedback about culture, about how other people do it, it's best done directly to the person involved. Because otherwise, it will feel like it’s passive-aggressive, it will feel like it is being childish or you're just throwing tantrums."
#AskACosmoCoach: Is It Unprofessional To Post Work-Related Stress On Social Media?
Sheila Tan is a meta coach and neuro-semantics trainer. She is also the president of Altius Coaching and Consulting. Sheila co-founded Flourish Circle, a community-based solution for mental health. Her advocacies include HIV awareness, women empowerment, and mental health. You can contact her through Altius Coaching's website, Facebook, or Instagram.
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