There are certain things that are never supposed to be seen in the workplace: Cutoff jean shorts, for example, or your pajamas, hooker heels, or having a full-on sobfest. But believe it or not, the last one, in today’s modern workplace, is becoming less taboo.
In fact, crying (ONCE IN A WHILE) may actually be looked upon as an effective tool rather than a form of career suicide.
In the clip below we see Carrie Mathison from Homeland (played by Claire Danes, one of the best criers of all time) being completely honest with her boss and having a complete breakdown. Ten years ago, crying at work was a sure way to be labeled as unstable (which doesn’t work well with this clip, since Carrie is actually revealed to be mentally unstable, but you get the point).
But today, with workplaces valuing emotional intelligence more and more, someone who cries at work can now be seen as a person who is very passionate. And with power players like Sheryl Sandberg and Tina Fey telling us that crying at work is acceptable, we may be changing our views on tears in the workplace.
A new study by CareerBuilder, which surveyed 2,662 private sector U.S. hiring managers, even found that emotional intelligence is starting to be seen as more of an asset, as opposed to a hindrance, in the work environment.
In her new book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sandberg talks about crying at work and how it actually helped promote a better environment. In fact, being honest with Mark Zuckerberg and letting a few tears come out helped facilitate a “breakthrough” between them. She writes:
“Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships. Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.
“Emotion drives both men and women and influences every decision we make. Recognizing the role emotions play and being willing to discuss them makes us better managers, partners, and peers.”
Tina Fey, another amazing lady, recently said in an interview that “a lot of times people say to you, ‘don’t cry in the workplace,’ but I find that if it’s genuine, if something is so frustrating that it makes you cry, it actually often scares the sh*t out of people.”
We are not condoning crying in job interviews or every day at work, but if you are passionate about a project or are frustrated because work is not getting done and you are naturally moved to tears (don’t force it!), then know that crying at work will not kill your career.
Have you ever cried at work? Do you think it hurt or helped your career?