We all know who we are in personal life. We are a friend, a mother, a child of someone, a brother. We are friendly, introverts, music lover, dog lover, health freak, foodie, kpop fan etc. But do you know who you are at work?
So why is it important to know who you are at work? This is so that you can identify how do you work best in, who do you work best with, what career goals to set for yourself. Confusion said “Know thyself, Know thy enemy. 100 battles, 100 wins.” You need to identify who you are so you can work on weakness and focus on your strengths.
You know yourself the best. I’m going to categorize a few questions that you can ask yourself.
1. Are you an Introvert or Extrovert at work?
I’m emphasising at work because most of us behaving differently at work and at home or in front of our friends (not from work). Do you participate in company’s outing enthusiastically? Do you volunteer to jump in and help with the Christmas deco in the office? Do you go upfront and introduce yourself to the new girl at work?
Knowing how you behave normally at work will help you determine what are the career moves suitable for you. If you are an introvert, I don’t think you will enjoy very much being in the marketing department or in a public relations role. While if you are an extrovert, being tied desk bound sorting out administrative work will not make you happy.
Listening to music leaves you in your own world. It is perfectly fine if your surrounding is a tad too noisy and music makes you concentrate or calms you down. But be wary that music does make you less intuitive to the surroundings around you, including bits of information that you may get by overhearing. And also makes you less approachable at work, reducing your chances of networking.
3. Are you more of a talker or a listener?
During meetings, are you the kind who nodded along with others? Or are you the only one voicing out ideas or suggestions? Do you dare to politely point out the fault of your management? Or do you prefer to melt into the background and agree with your boss?
In the perfect working world, we would balance both but this is not the perfect world therefore, we tend to slide towards one or the other. Identifying and be truthful to yourself helps you to add more to the side that you’re not on.
If you are a talker, next time when I’m the heat of the moment, pause and listen to the other party. Remember, the discussion is only fruitful if there is both way participation. Try to really hear what others are saying before coming to your own conclusion.
If you are a listener, try to speak up and do not fear if others will judge you. Since you are the listener, you tend to be calm and see any flaws in the discussion. Take a stand and voice out. People will be grateful that there is someone willing to show different angles to an issue.
When given a project, do you like to work in a team or would you prefer to complete as an individual?
Some who prefer to have control of everything including the timeline, the research, the logistics of the project even the execution. I have worked with folks like that and usually they would be happy if you wait by the side, they’ll approach you when they need help and they would prefer if you take instructions instead of providing suggestions. Followers would love to work with these folks and usually you could learn a lot of them. Usually, these folks are natural jugglers, leader and goal driven.
There are some who enjoy working in a team during project time and I am one of them. I love the opportunity to meet new people from other departments and learn from them. Working in a team will need a lot of strong communication skills, patience and compromise. If you enjoy working in a team, you probably have those skills.
Do you complete your tasks at hand quickly? Or do you take time to meticulously go through them? Do you write and rewrite your report for the tenth time before submitting?
If you don’t have the patience, I don’t think a job description that has meticulous and detailed will suit you. But if you love playing with numbers, your hobbies is to complete jigsaw puzzles and fishing, perhaps you can look into a career role that requires loads of patience like jobs like in the accounting department or a business analyst.
6. Who is your work lunch buddies?
It’s says a lot about who you are with the people you hang around with. You go lunch with them everyday because you clicked with them. Nobody will choose to spend their one precious hour with someone they don’t enjoy with. It’s the hour where you get respite from your workload, your boss’s demands and endless meetings.
So take a good long look at your lunch buddies and ask yourself if they reflect who you are. If you need to be clearer, take a piece of paper and write down their strengths and flaws and check if they mirror yours. Those strengths that are not the same as yours, you need to learn from them. And for those weakness that are the same as theirs, make sure you don’t band together with them because of those flaws and turn into comfortable bad habits to have.
With the above 6 questions, I do hope that you are much clearer on who you are at work. If you want to be more specific, I can help you at no cost. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply you in 48 hours.