Career progression is a tough game. The working world is a tough place to be in, especially in the early years of your career. You’ve got to learn fast and try to avoid mistakes, but if you’re fortunate enough to be able to fail and learn, you appreciate it while you have the chance. If truth be told, often we’re just as skilled as those around us and there isn’t much difference between the talents within our workplace. This is where personality comes – having a standout workplace personality can be what separates us from the competition when trying to establish the career you’re looking for.
The difference between showing who you are and having a ‘workplace personality’.
Let’s get this straight, having a ‘workplace personality’ that is different to your true personality is a recipe can have negative implications.
For one, we’re pretty apt at seeing right through people and so if we don’t believe that the person we’re interacting with is being their genuine selves, we’ll know it. Additionally, putting on a different persona could suggest a lack of confidence and willingness to show one’s true self.
When we know that someone is not being genuine, we automatically lose trust towards them. This can create a negative working relationship due to a lack of respect and trust among team members in the workplace.
Being true to who you are at work
Now more than ever, being true to who you are is what matters in the workplace. Granted, not every workplace is ready for this but your happiness and working engagement is.
For example, if you’re eccentric in your dress sense, emphatic in your communication style or quirky in your general demeanor, that doesn’t mean you should hide it. Hiding your true self will only contribute to unhappiness and lower in workplace engagement, separating yourself from the social aspects of the workplace and will perhaps hinder your career. After all, perhaps the powers that be may, in fact, be looking for your type of character to fit an upcoming role?
There is a standard office etiquette as old as time itself. More often than not we focus on adhering to this as much as possible to ‘fit-in’, but that doesn’t mean that ways of doing things can change. This shouldn’t overshadow your character either – if your personality isn’t just the standard, don’t be afraid to show who you are, as well as respecting office etiquette in and around the workplace.
The positive benefits of showing your true self to the workplace
Clarity and centeredness are something to consider. When showing your true self in the workplace, you have a clear mind, not clouded by the need for a persona. You’re never distracted by having to focus on trying to be someone you’re not and can feel liberated and relieved to just be yourself.
Being centered on yourself at work is a great thing to learn to do, and something that should be celebrated more often. A centered mindset is one that can see much clearer, envisaging goals and the paths needed to get there. A centered mindset can see opportunities and threats, possibilities, and limitations much clearer too. When laying out workloads, mapping out working tasks and devising timelines, having a centered mind is a valuable asset to map things out accordingly and correctly.
Furthermore, an honest person in the workplace is a happier person. I’ve found during my short career that when in roles where I felt comfortable in being myself, I was more engaged in my work, more connected socially, and generally happier within the working environment.
Finally, standing out from the crowd isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Management, your colleagues, and the senior team are more likely to remember someone who is true to their individual personality, than one trying to hide it. This allows you to be recognized for both your soft and hard skills while staying in the thoughts of those you come into contact with. Be respectful of their values when doing so and communicate yourself effectively and conversations will flow organically without a need for negative debate.
Social connections resulting from your true personality
A true personality in the workplace can result in a more socially connected workplace. Social connections are at the core of building team spirit and togetherness.
We all have our own individual quirks and if we’re scared to show these, we could be missing out on opportunities to connect with like-minded people at work. Showcasing these quirks presents a confident character and one that could inspire others around them that are concerned about revealing their selves. This can spark a change in the office, creating little hubs of social connections and relationships in the workplace.
Overall, being true to yourself in the workplace is a positive mindset; one of confidence, clarity, and understanding. We should encourage those around us to do the same; engage who you are, be true to yourself and show how beautifully unique you are. The result could be more recognition and acknowledgment within your working environment, a strong social group, or just a generally happier working experience.