Don’t Just Be Yourself

If I had to pick one piece of advice I’ve heard most often it would probably be “just be yourself!”  Even when it comes to starting a new job.  ”Don’t worry“, “You’ll be great“, “Just be yourself!” But I’m going to tell you something different.  Don’t just be yourself.

Everyone has little quirks that make us unique.  Everyone has personality flaws.  In real life, these quirks and flaws make us who we are.  But some of these have no business being in the workplace.

Take me for example.  It’s hard write my resume for me to hide my emotions.  When I’m upset about something I tend to shut down and it shows.  But you can’t be noticeably upset in the workplace.  You have to let that go and put on a happy face.  Keep whatever negative feelings you have inside unless they are appropriate to express.

Here are some other personality characteristics that you should leave at home:

You’re Sarcastic
You might be fluent in sarcasm, but not everyone appreciates it.  Watch yourself when you’re working in a new place.  Ease into using sarcasm.  If it seems to be well received, then relax a little bit.  But in the beginning, keep your use of sarcasm in check.

You Swear Like A Sailor
Swearing should be avoided, especially when you start a new job.  A lot of people are sensitive about swearing especially if it’s in a more formal setting.  If the office turns out to be a place full of people who swear frequently, then have at it.  But be sure to keep it in check in the beginning until you have a better understanding of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

You Have a Short Temper
So you get mad easy?  It happens.  But it can’t happen in the workplace.  No one wants to see you lose it at the office.  Learn ways to keep your anger at bay.  And save those outbursts for when you’re at home.

You’re a Chatterbox
People like personable and outgoing people.  It’s great if you can talk to anyone.  But people go to work to work.  And they don’t need you chatting away next to their desk.  Save the chitchat for lunch, breaks, or office parties.  But don’t spend your day talking people’s ears off while they’re trying to work.

You Love To Gossip
A lot of people gossip.  But an important part of keeping a positive office environment is limiting the gossip.  Plus, if your coworkers find out you’re talking about them behind their back I don’t think they will be very happy.  And you want to try and stay on everyone’s good side.  So if you have the urge to share everything you know about your coworkers, don’t.

You Love To Debate
I grew up in a family of lawyers.  I love to debate.  It’s hard for me to not play devil’s advocate and argue the other side of any issue.  But the workplace isn’t the place to get into debates.  You never know how people are going to take an opposing viewpoint.  It would be better not to find out.  Especially when it comes to politics.  Keep your opinions to yourself, at least until you have a better idea of where your coworkers stand on issues and how they react to opposing viewpoints.

These characteristics aren’t inherently bad.  But they have a time and a place.  And the workplace is generally not the place to exhibit these sides of you.  Every workplace is different.  It’s possible that some workplaces might appreciate these characteristics.  But it’s hard to judge that right off the bat.  Take some time to learn the company culture before you drip everything with sarcasm, swear left and right, talk your coworker’s ears off, gossip, and debate.

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