I think we all agree that we have a persona, a brand, a perceived perception of ourselves, a mask we wear at work. Do you put yours on as soon as you walk in the door? Perhaps your mask changes on a daily basis depending on the demands of the day. Do you find this challenging? How close is your work persona to the real you? Some find it exhausting, feeling they’re unable to take their true selves into the workplace. It’s understandable, sometimes the situation demands it. I get it.
If you’re feeling like 2 different people, have split energy around the work you and the real you – here’s a few tips to help you manage with ease and integrate as much as possible.
Embracing vulnerability is a huge part of revealing who you truly are. Having the courage to show that side of yourself that you’ve always kept guarded at work can be hard. Start small. Make a decision about sharing something or yourself with a trusted colleague or your manager one on one, if it’s appropriate. What sort of things? You may have a hidden talent, sell your artwork at the markets most weekends, love riding motorbikes! Anything you feel comfortable with! Allow people in. This starts to help you feel safe about chipping away at the mask.
If you would normally remain fairly reserved in meetings, take one step each week to start sharing your thoughts, opinions and ideas, with confidence. Say what you really think! Walk into the meeting more prepared than normal if this assists with your confidence. As long as you’re concisely and professionally sharing your thoughts then embrace your voice.
If you’re masked up, you can be rest assured that your team are too. Having a leader who is guarded only makes your team feel disengaged, disconnected and well……a stranger to you. If you strive to lead by example and want an engaged team, take steps to get to know them and in turn, them to know you.
Wearing a constant guarded and unapproachable mask can affect your career. This type of perception can give the appearance of not being a team player, poor culture or company values. Take a moment to consider how you want to be perceived, what you are willing to impart about yourself, what emotions are appropriate for a work environment and what traits does a leader you admire, display?
Why should we work on removing or at least chipping away at the masks we wear? Most career people can spend up to 50 hours a week or more at work. That’s a long period of time to maintain your persona. It’s not in dispute that yes, every work environment warrants professional behaviour but by disposing of our masks or at least downgrading it to a thin veil, can boost your leadership skills, improve your interpersonal relationships and ultimately boost your career……let’s not forget you won’t feel as exhausted!
To find out more tips or go deeper into this subject and much more, contact Dione McCurdy- Career Coach and Strategist. Interested in a professional career coaching program? Like to take advantage of the ‘Ask Dione’ service today? You can connect with Dione at……………….
Have you ever considered your work history patterns? If you contemplate certain roles or experiences over your working life, do you see recurring patterns or themes? Are these patterns serving you? Are you building on your skill set year after year?
We can learn so much about ourselves, our career and our choices when we look at the history of our working lives.
Taking a mental audit or writing down what’s worked for you and what’s not, can result in aha moments of clarity, often shining a light on your next move, what needs to change or really how far you’ve come in your career.
Devise a timeline, starting with your first ever role, all the roles in between till the present day. Yes, even the jobs you had as a kid, even if it was babysitting or at the local café, it all adds up to your story. Write down the job, the tasks you performed, what you liked and did not like. Be sure to also include any experiences, interactions with bosses or colleagues, good or bad, that may highlight any common themes.
Reviewing your work history list, what aspects of each role felt most aligned for you? Perhaps consider if a particular task that you have performed through most of the roles you’ve had, when did you feel in flow? Start noticing where the moments of flow are recurring.
In which environment and positions you’ve held have you honestly felt you were playing to your strengths. When we go to work each day exercising our strengths and working in our zone of genius, it creates a sense of fulfillment and congruence. Notice this and capitalize on it.
As you look over your history, it’s time to get real. Have you taken roles purely because you wanted to stay in your comfort zone? If you’ve purposely accepted a position knowing that you could ‘just fly under the radar’. What was your motivation in doing so? How did this feel? If you’ve chosen this time and time again, consider stepping out of your comfort zone and showing up, expanding your skill set and progressing your career.
Now let’s think about your interview skills. If you’ve ever taken a role, expecting it was going to be the position you’ve always wanted, your definite next best career move but months in you’ve discovered it’s just not for you. Replaying the interview and the interview process in your mind, what red flags were evident? It’s crucial to know your strengths, your communication style, how you like to be managed and what culture you best thrive in. Take the time to consider how you can improve your interview questions for the future, ensuring you’re directing them around what’s important to you, while delving deeper into your organization research for a well-informed view.
Taking the time to review and audit your work history allows you to capture key learnings to have a more informed view of your strengths, when you feel in flow, improvement on interview skills and environments where you succeed. When choosing your next move or considering your next promotion, bear in mind what you do you know for sure about yourself, your style and your work history.
To find out more tips or go deeper into this subject and much more, contact Dione McCurdy- Career Coach and Strategist.
Interested in a professional career coaching program?
Like to advantage of the ‘Ask Dione’ service today? You can connect with Dione at firstname.lastname@example.org