According to this article, people tend to enjoy their jobs more when they feel like they can be their authentic selves at work. The same article cites a survey in which one-third of the employees felt like they needed to fake their personality at work.
For some time, I was doing a job where I felt I had to fake my personality. After spending a couple of months figuring out how I could be myself, I finally started enjoying my job much more and had much better results.
What have I learned? There are three steps that can help you to feel more yourself in your job:
This step is not about taking various personality tests, even though it can help. It is more about paying attention and observing your behavior in different situations. What you like, what you don’t like, how you prefer coping with certain problems, what you tend to avoid and what you search for at work.
Tip: Keep a small diary and note your observations.
By observing yourself, you will soon find out some patterns that you don’t like, some situations in which you don’t feel comfortable. Accepting who you are and what your limits are will eventually help you to find ways how to cope with them. It sounds counterintuitive, but trying to fight against yourself takes too many forces. Forces that you will need elsewhere.
Tip: When you face a situation when your weakness can show, acknowledge it for yourself. No need to talk about it in front of other people. For example, if you are nervous speaking in public:„I accept that I am nervous when speaking in public.“ You can repeat it until you feel more comfortable when saying it loud.
Eventually, you will need to develop some new skills, so that you feel more comfortable in your job. A smart way how to develop new skills is in respect with your personality, with your strengths and your weaknesses. In respect with what you enjoy and what you enjoy less. It is simply about finding your own unique style.
Tip: Experiment with your behavior in non-threatening situations. Pay attention to how you use your strengths and how you can apply your strengths to the new skills you want to learn.
Becoming authentic yourself at work can be a long process. However, it pays off with higher job satisfaction. Your work will become an enjoyable easy ride.