Today’s paper featured an article with the attention-grabbing headline, “Religion in the Workplace.”
But reading closely, the article featured employees who violated company policies, claiming discrimination based on religion. One wore tattoos; another surfed the web during business hours. A third seemed more questionable: she wanted to wear a head scarf to serve drinks in a cocktail lounge.
My own view: Go where you’re wanted. Choose workplaces that share your values. It’s not worth the emotional energy. If you’re not in a position to choose, get marketable.
In her book Tough Choices, Carly Fiorina wrote about her own more subtle values clash at Hewlett Packard. She shared the East Coast values of dressing up in high fashion: she liked her Armani suits with high heels. H-P enjoyed a more laid-back western culture.
Clearly this clash wasn’t the only reason for Fiorina’s forced departure, but she herself acknowledges the added stress.
And when a new client shows up, the first thing I say is, “Do you have a private email? Get a yahoo, hotmail or gmail account – right away – unless you own the company.”
Some of my clients who own their companies actually choose a private email anyway. One never knows.
A tax accountant told me, “I encourage my sole proprietor clients to get company bank accounts, even though legally the money’s all the same. If they get audited, they can say, ‘Here’s my business account.’ And nobody sees the checks they wrote to their families, boyfriends and secret pleasure sources.”