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Being YOU in the Workplace Sparks Creativity

Aha Moment: Bring your whole, authentic self into your workplace to drive innovation.

You probably know people who do the dance.

Maybe you are one of those people.

You get a new job and do your best to fall in line with the culture of the company. As time goes on, you may feel stifled or like you just don’t fit, so you move to the next job  –  or worse, feel  defeated at your workplace.

The dance goes on.

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And it isn’t good for you or your career, or the companies looking to invest in you.

Your authentic self

You were hired for a reason. You obviously had skills that the company was looking for. Don’t be afraid to be yourself as you put creativity into your work.

Here’s why it’s good for you and good for the company:

  • You can’t build a career if you’re constantly on the move. Feeling like you can’t express your whole self can cause you to job-hop. But you grow your career based on years of experience and the perceived and actual knowledge you accumulate from your role. This results in your available level of compensation and determines the future opportunities you are eligible for.  So it’s important to be strategic before you think of job-hopping as your best option. Why not stay put and start bringing more of you into your workplace? You’ll be happier. Plus, you’ll be gaining experience and maybe even move up the ladder. Investing yourself where you are gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with others in the company who can help you along.
  • It costs a company more money to hire and rehire. Companies want to retain their employees  –  especially the good ones. It takes time, effort and money to constantly hire and train new staff. It’s in their best interest to foster your creativity and talents because they want you to be an asset to the company.

Take the lead

Don’t leave you at home.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can set the tone and exemplify authenticity in your workplace:

  • Ask courageous questions. Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind and ask important questions. Ask what you need to do to get ahead, fit in, and stand out. Inquire about how your company values creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Don’t be too timid to ask about salary, technology usage, performance reviews, the promotion process, or any other facet of your work. This transparency creates an openness between employer and employee that leads to the freedom of self-expression.
  • Define yourself. Be upfront about the way you work best. Express your ideas about the how, where and when to promote the ideal workspace and environment. The flexibility to work in a way that you find most comfortable grants you the ability to put your whole self into your work, tapping into your creativity. Innovative problem-solving is a quality that you can add to your workplace but it’s important that you initiate the conversation.
  • Let others know your “Why”. When you let others know the why behind how you choose to work, collaborate, present yourself and share your ideas you give insight into how your authentic self helps you perform at a higher level. Also giving permission for others to appreciate your creativity.

How your employer can help

As the times change, the composition of the workplace is changing as well.

As employers begin to realize the importance of their employees feeling free to express their true selves, they are becoming more open to flexibility in work hours, location, personal style and individual hobbies that boost your skills. Employers are learning that they need to tap into your source of inspiration to get your full potential.

For example, your employer may understand that you do yoga at 10 a.m. and you do your best work at 1:00 a.m.  A stay-at-home dad can work around the schedule of his children.

The opportunities for people who thrive under non-traditional work conditions are opening up. Being able to work around your own schedule is a game-changer, logistically and creatively  –  and you can pave the way.

How do you bring your authentic self into your work?