Ask HR: Help! My trusted colleagues don’t like my new look...

A young woman sitting at a desk in an office.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Do not be distracted by clueless workmates whose selfish sentiments may be influenced by envy, and fear that the new you might outshine them.
  • Ask them smart questions such as, “Exactly what don’t you like?” or “How may I improve my new look?” 

I love my job and I have been a productive employee since I joined this company three years ago. When the country went to lock-down and remote working became the norm, it was tough at first, since I was living alone. To cheer myself up, I decided to change my look. I cut my hair, coloured it, started working out, watched my diet and changed my wardrobe. I felt great! But when I returned to the office, my colleagues kept asking, “What happened to you?” My confidence is so crushed and I want to quit. Please help?

Before you make any move, reflect on the reasons you went for the makeover. Think of the entire process, from how carefully you debated on whether the new look would suit you, choosing the hair colours and finding a trustworthy hairdresser. 

Perhaps you consulted one or two trusted friends who cheered you on, or reviewed videos and endless pictures to be sure you weren’t missing anything. Remember how you felt when you stepped out of the salon or the gym, for that is where your confidence should come from.

Do not be distracted by clueless workmates whose selfish sentiments may be influenced by envy, and fear that the new you might outshine them. Ask them smart questions such as, “Exactly what don’t you like?” or “How may I improve my new look?” 

You could throw in witty comments like, “Wrong shoes for a short dress” or “A brighter tie would go better on that shirt”. The point is to play things down to protect your confidence.

That said, if you realise that you may have gone too far, accept criticism smartly by saying something like, “It took quite a while to decide on that but I am quite happy with the final outcome”. Be open minded and make smart adjustments if need be.

As I was reflecting on this question, a friend shared a message that read, “When we admire something in others we should tell them. Let’s get into the habit of uplifting others. That is how positive influencing starts. 

Don’t ever say or do something that can bring another down. If you go out of your way to bring others down, the “happiness” you will get will be short lived, and the joke will be on you. 

Millennial HR
www.millenialhr.com

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.