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Your Office is Just Like Middle School

Not many of us look back on our middle school years fondly. Puberty, gym class, mean girls—we dreamed of being grown-up because it would mean the end of the Awkward. Surprisingly, middle school and your professional life may not be so different.

Your Office is Just Like Middle School

A post on Popsugar points out the similarities in advice given to preteens and professionals alike. Let’s take a look at some other keys to surviving life in middle school and at the office.

Don’t Be a Jerk. You don’t have to be BFFs with everyone, but at least be a pleasant coworker. Find the people with whom you work well and build relationships, but don’t create an exclusive clique. If no one understands you and you totally hate everyone, then make sure you avoid explosive behavior.

Avoid Gossip. Have you heard?! Scientists have only recently started to study gossiping because it is tricky to define. We are tempted to swap stories about our coworkers at break time because it strengthens our social bonds. It may start off harmless, but gossip is a way to compare ourselves to others and pass judgment, which can quickly turn sour. Is your office a replica of the television show Gossip Girl? Try a zero-gossip policy.

Look Out for Bullies. Just because we grow up and leave our school days behind doesn’t mean that the bullying stops. In fact, we recently covered a study that found that bullying gets you ahead at work, so don’t be surprised when you encounter a bully. Check out our guide to take action against bullying in the workplace.

Tell Us What You Think

How is your office like middle school? We want to hear from you! Tell us on Twitter, or in the comments below.

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Photo Credit: Scott McDermott / Flickr

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