Most men tend to compartmentalize different areas of our lives into secluded boxes meant to never overlap one another. This is who I am at the office; this is who I am at home; this is how I speak to my friends and this is how I speak to my parents.
And although it’s only natural to filter out some things (we get it, your parents don’t need to hear about how good Katy was in bed), your personality should always come through at all moments. You gotta remember that you are a brand and everything you do affects the way you are perceived.
Specially when it comes to getting the job of your dreams.
I’m going to stop right there before you start thinking this is a “be yourself” article. It isn’t. If your personality has rough patches, well, work on them and improve. The main message of this article is this: people hire people, human beings promote human beings, and only by opening up and fostering genuine relationships with your co-workers will you move up within your company. Get rid of the idea that you need to behave “professionally” in order to move up. You simply need to be a human that performs well and that people like.
Professionalism is conveyed by getting stuff done and by proving consistently that you are good at your job (taking on big projects, overdelivering, requesting more work, and always learning), not by dressing like a 50 year old and starting every email with “I hope this finds you well.”
I started a new job around 4 months ago and now my boss and I are good friends (a friendship fuelled in part by after work drinks) and I have a solid office crew who now are an important part of my social life. These relationships didn’t grow out of cold calculation. They grew out of an organic desire to get to know the people I work with and by not being afraid of buying a round of shots in front of our CEO.
So if you don’t do so already, do your best to become genuinely interested in and try to have fun with the people you work with. For starters, if your co-workers are your friends, you’ll be better at your job because every task will feel like an act of comradery instead of just duty.
And when the time comes when that position you always wanted opens up within your company and it’s down to you and the person nobody knows, odds are you’ll come out on top.
The key here is to remain genuine. Don’t feign interest, as you’ll simply come across as the office suck-up. Make a geniune attempt to connect with your co-workers on a personal level and always look to improve your interpersonal skills. More often than not, we’re so focused on the work part of ‘office life’ that we forget about, well, the living part.
Next round is on me.