The workplace is normally a professional environment, but nobody wants to be a mindless drone all day. If you feel uncomfortable showing your true colours at work, you can test the waters by conducting daily personality pilots.
Photo by star5112.
If you’re worried about how people will react to the “real” you, Dorie Clark, the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, suggests you bring your personality to the table little by little. Clark explains at the Harvard Business Review:
…if it feels risky to go “all in” on being yourself at work, think about a small experiment you could try to test the waters. For instance, if you’re naturally funny but tamp down your humour at work because “it’s not done” at your company, try cracking a few (carefully chosen) jokes one day. See what sort of response you receive. Did others seem to notice? Did you receive any feedback, positive or negative? Turn to a trusted colleague to ask her opinion.
If the response was positive or neutral, you can keep moving forward with your tests until you feel like you get to be yourself. If the response is negative, however, Clark notes that your small tests won’t hurt you in the long run anyway because you can always go back to the way you were before. If it seems there’s no room for you to be yourself at work, and that’s important to you, your job may not be a good fit.
What to Do When You Don’t Feel Comfortable Being Yourself at Work [Harvard Business Review]