Are you bringing your authentic self to work?
If you’re not bringing yourself to work yet, I know how you feel.
I started my career working for an international food giant as a graduate. I was just a number, an object that nobody took the time to get to know. Like rats in a maze, everyone had their own deadlines to meet, and no time to foster any sort of culture.
It was a lonely time.
In companies like that one, there are different levels of self expression that are acceptable in relation to your position in the company. For example, this chart comes from an article advising young professionals on data driven techniques to be more successful at work. The fact this chart even exists is ironic!
All of us feel the effects of this dogma that creates toxic workplaces. Do you hold your cards close to your chest, afraid to be honest about who you are, the things you value and the things you experience? If you’ve answered “yes,” you’re missing out, and so are your colleagues. Why should your colleagues be deprived of getting to know the whole, wonderful you?
My life completely changed when I joined Timely. Here your ideas, your opinions, and your values are important. People care, and they’re truly interested in hearing about what makes you tick.
Why should you bring your authentic self to work?
You’re awesome in your own way, and it’s time to accept it! If you’ve never experienced bringing yourself to work, you may not realise how much it benefits both you and your workplace.
People are simply happier when they are their true selves and aren’t putting on a front. That is of course, unless you’re a mime, in which case a little pretending is in the job description!
You have a unique set of skills and experiences; keeping those under wraps deprives your employer of all that you have to offer.
If you’re still referring to yourself as a cog in the machine, or a number on the payroll, stop! You have a unique set of skills and experiences; keeping those under wraps deprives your employer of all that you have to offer.
Really though, you’re a living and breathing, complex human being, not a cog in a machine. Your workplace should embrace that. I’ve seen some truly incredible work come out of people who are just 100% authentic and present, dedicating their energy to the things they’re passionate about, rather than constructing their workplace persona.
How #timelylife helps me bring myself to work
Spending time in my community and giving back are both hugely important to me. It’s part of what defines me as a person. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to get involved in the things I’ve wanted to because of the 9-5, half-hour-for-lunch work life. I was looking for another way, and I found it in #timelylife.
Last year the New Zealand Blood service was actively recruiting for plasma donors, and I thought “I could work some flexi-hours and make this work”. Nobody batted an eyelid when I took a two hour lunch break and tacked an extra hour onto the end of my day. I now donate plasma on a fortnightly basis, flexing my time around appointments.
At Timely, we’re encouraged to be ourselves. For me, that means taking the morning off to drive around delivering SPCA fundraising cupcakes to our colleagues. Even better, people get involved and want to offer their support! Our Dunedin team recently jumped on board for the SPCA Cupcake Day and ordered a bunch of cupcakes from me.
Yes, I know these cupcakes are delicious ?, but I also know my colleagues support me because this is what I’m passionate about.
I can’t think of any other workplace I’ve ever experienced where people truly care about each other the way we do.