Last months #CBLChat on Twitter was all about the subject of being yourself in the workplace and whether it's truly possible, practical and in fact a good idea!
Well that was a month ago and I'm finally getting around to pulling together some of the great feedback from the chat. I thought I'd share some of the findings here on the blog today before we embark on a new chat tonight at 8pm. So here are some thoughts on whether you can and should, really be your true self at work.
BEING YOURSELF AT WORK
Should be your true self at work or should you keep a certain professional persona?
The overwhelming response was that it really depends on the profession that you're in. You can't always change the expectations of a certain professional environment and the reality is that you will need to adapt in order to fit into a certain type of workplace.
Some professions, for example creative industries like advertising, fashion, film, design, will more than likely welcome the unique quirks and individual traits that make you, you! Other more traditional industries, for example finance and banking, will come with certain expectations that you might find yourself needing to work with and around, leaving a little bit of yourself at the door each day in order to occupy a certain persona for the office.
As Lauren who blogs over at Blonde Vision so accurately put it - 'You need to show personality whilst staying professional.'
Personality is important to allow yourself to feel comfortable, express yourself and to grow professionally. You don't want to become a robot! However always remember that you're in the workplace and don't get too carried away. That degree of professionalism should never leave you and is a key factor in making sure you are taken seriously.
What do you think are the benefits of being the true you at work?
Being able to show the true you to your clients and colleagues has great benefits in making you seem relatable and genuine. Letting them in and allowing them to get to know you is incredibly important. You just don't want to take this too far. No-one really wants to hear about all of your woes, every little detail about your weekend or the inside scoop on exactly what you had for dinner the night before!
Jessica from Cubicle Chic commented that for her being yourself at work means doing things your own way but being darn sure that your way will work! I completely agree with this. It's great if you feel confident in your approach and your ideas, but if you're going to push for things to be done your way, then you'd better make sure that you can produce the necessary results at the end of the day.
What does being yourself at work mean to you?
When it came to this point I loved what Laura from LauraVonka.com had to say. It really summed things up and I think is a good mantra to live by. Being yourself at work to her means: 'Being able to sleep well at night and look at myself in the mirror in the morning. No compromises.'
I really appreciate this thought because I think it's something that's very important in the workplace. Integrity and believing in yourself, your work and getting the best from your career without compromising on the things that are most integral and important to you.
It is also so important, as noted by those in the chat, to find the right workplace for you. A place where you feel comfortable and are able to achieve, grow and be yourself as much as possible. As Laura again so accurately said - 'Life is too short to fake it.' So if you find yourself having to work far too hard to be someone or something that you're not in the workplace then maybe that isn't quite the right environment for you.
So I hope this brief round up provides some food for thought. I'd love to hear what you think on the topic and if you feel you are able to be yourself at work? Or do you like the fact that work brings out a different, professional persona in you and is that something that you highly value and respect in the workplace? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
This months #CBLChat takes place this evening at 8pm UK time and will be looking in more detail at the subject of Productivity. You can find out more about this evening's host, the topic and preview the questions here: Career Blog Chat.
Hope to see you there and look forward to chatting with you.
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