In the workplace - The Difference between Manhood and Adolescence

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Over the last 7+ years the western world as we know it experienced its severest recession since the 1950s. Unemployment peaked at almost 2.7 million at the end of 2011 in the UK alone, according to the Office of National Statistics.

During this global financial crisis, the very concept of job security seemed non existent, with millions of skilled men and women around the world left without a job. This left many of us under immense pressure to re-evaluate ourselves, future plans and our benefit to the ones we love.

It was whilst thinking about the current economic climate that I came across the quote "Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty" and it really got me thinking about the journey from adolescence to manhood.

Is there a difference between a man who is slightly more rooted in his manhood than a man who tends to have an adolescent mindset when placed in the workplace? How do both types of men respond to the new notion of uncertainty that comes with a job prospect? Is there more value placed on reputation or is there any real need to give more when you are possibly under valued? These were some of the questions that ran through my mind, as I began to note some of the differences I had observed over the years.

Adolescent mindset in the workplace

Nonchalant & Quits Easily

It's very hard to find a man with an adolescent mindset who genuinely cares about his job when he is not the primary bread winner "bringing home the bacon". The comfort of knowing he has parents or a partner to catch him if he falls can often allow him to gain confidence from his nonchalant attitude. His ability to commit to his job is highly dependent on his level of interest for the role, however should someone within that company rub him up the wrong way he is happy to leave without hesitation or thought for his responsibilities at work or at home.

Inappropriate Presentation

I've had the pleasure of working with guys who've been pulled up on their appearance and personal hygiene by management. I can only imagine how awkward it must be for a manager to have to think about how they are going approach a man pertaining to his recurring issue of poor presentation or personal hygiene. Whether a man can be bothered to groom himself or not, should not be the only factor that comes into play when deciding to be clean and smell good. A little consideration to all those you may come into contact with whilst at work or on your daily commute goes a long way! We all represent far more than ourselves and our emotions and we communicate that in what we say, what we do, how we look and in some cases how we smell.

Poor Time Keeping

Here are the top 3 repeated excuses I have heard from guys who often turn up late for work:

1. "Err... I was out late last night."

2. "The bus driver drove off as I got to the bus stop"

3. "Sorry... I hit the snooze button and over slept!"

I don't think it would be so bad if these were one off excuses, but in true adolescent form once you've got away with an excuse once, it automatically means you should persist on using the same excuses over and over again without implementing any lifestyle changes to avoid these repeated mishaps. I do think to myself, what does this guy really expect his boss to think of him? Does he want his boss to know that he thinks he's gullible? Is he trying to avoid responsibility by highlighting how unreliable he is? Or is he just trying to convey how meaningless he considers his role to be?

I have also had the experience of working with guys who have taken such a long lunch break that they have had to be called to get back to work. Lol! If that's not a reminder of being at school, I don't know what is.

Manhood mindset in the workplace


This guy measures himself on growth, always seeking to build on what he has and progress from where he is. He is aware that his level of productivity helps to define his value within the workplace and this helps to support any plans he may have to progress. He spends less time talking or postponing an increasing workload and spends more time dealing with things immediately as he manages his responsibilities.


We generally find it easier to commit to a job for a longer period of time once we have establish why we're there and for the more mature man, knowing this information is of great importance. This man takes the time to understand and constantly review why he is in his job whilst trying to align these reasons with personal goals or existing responsibilities. Once he understands the purpose of his job, he is able to look beyond short term preferences such as how likeable his colleagues are and the office environment, when financial stability may be of a higher priority at this point in time.

A man who comfortably operates in manhood often finds fulfilment and functionality in being able to provide for himself and more importantly others. This can fuel his ability to stick at something even though he may well be over qualified for the job he is currently doing.


Punctuality is a discipline that instantly shows a level of integrity and respect for the arrangements you have agreed to commit to. A man who has his mind set toward manhood takes the time to proactively ensure his actions validate his character.

This type of man is generally viewed as an honourable man of his word who is dependable and ready for the task at hand. Interestingly enough it’s very hard to get rid of people you rely on, so if cuts do need to be made within the workforce, this type of man can feel slightly more confident that he won’t be first inline to get the chop, based on the consistency of his character.


Whilst training with a recruitment company I was once told that they have a preference to hiring people who either own or rent a home, are married or have children. 'Why?' you may ask! Well I asked that same question. It turns out that some employers recognise that having someone working for their organisation that has large financial commitments, dependents or has committed themselves to being in a life time relationship, demonstrates that they have potential to commit to their job and are more likely to take the responsibility for their role more seriously, as they are working to attain or maintain a certain lifestyle.

Was this company saying that a single person is less employable? Not at all! However it is harder to see the benefits of entering a relationship with a single minded person whether the relationship is personal or professional. The journey into manhood should help us to see the gratitude that can be gained from giving, the sense of pride that comes from knowing you gave your best and have well founded reason to expect what was promised in return.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a general consensus which gives the impression that you have to be given responsibility in order to become responsible and I personally think that type of thought empowers an adolescent mindset among men. The idea that says “unless I assume the responsibility, I’m not responsible” can really slow down a mans progress. Ben Affleck once said in a movie called 'Boiler room' "Act as if" and I recommend this mindset! So how do you use the 'Act as if' mindset? It may look something like this:

If a man lives with his parents, the ’Act as if' mindset says work, save and contribute as if you were living under your own roof!

From what I have observed, having a manhood mindset whilst in the workplace just means that you understand why you have entered a professional contract and you have the integrity to honour your agreement.


Can you think of any other attributes that can easily be associated with a man who operates in manhood within the workplace?

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