Peer pressure

15 Oct

This, I feel. Is the best definition of “Peer Pressure” – “influence on a person by other people who are about the same age on in the same class.”

Taking this definition, how does peer pressure exist in the workplace. Where often there is a very varied age range. I am the youngest person working in this company and know that most others are in their late 20’s and early 40’s maybe older. These I wouldn’t consider to be of the same age, or class. Or even the same peer, we were born in almost different generations and as a result have grown up in different lifestyles with different goals and agenda’s.

I have recently been working on a project for the company. At the beginning of this I told them that I was not an expert in the area they had asked and may not be able to achieve their desired results. What I am working on is technically not in my job description and as such I do not feel any pressure for it to be perfect. I laid down the guidelines and said I would do my best to achieve optimal results.

Here’s where things start to go wrong, I have consistently refused to bow to peer pressure so I feel a slight tension and wonder what the best course of action is/was. My CEO was speaking to me about the project and I explained I was working on the bugs and small details and would let him know when they had been resolved. In a half jokey way he said that he was being pressured to have the project finished in good time and needed me to work out the bugs sharpish. I told him straight that I put my hands up and didn’t know when it was going to be finished and he would have to wait, he then went onto say that I didn’t want to lose my reputation as a man who got things done. My reply was to say I didn’t need a reputation because im good at what I do, but promised I would work on the project and do what I could.

A few hours later after completely ignoring the project (It was stressing me out) I realised that I now felt a pressure to perform in an area I specifically said I could not achieve expert results.

I know my limits. Now its 3 days later and because the pressure is there to work on something I am even less inclined to do so and have decided to ignore it for a week before delving back into lines of code trying to work out bugs.

It’s almost like being back at school and having the pressure to perform well in a class where you know you have limited attention span. Doing homework and practising for exams. Maybe I just don’t like authourity and pressure.

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One Response to “Peer pressure”

  1. slightlyignorant 16 October, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    I don’t think it literally means you don’t like pressure. I think it means more you don’t like being pressured from outside sources. I mean, perhaps if you had decided all on your own to complete the project quickly, you would have done it fine.
    I can completely understand the reluctance to do something for sake of this fictitious thing “a reputation” and anyone who stands up to peer pressure of any form has the right frame of mind in my opinion.

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