Fueling Your Growth at Work

Jessica Malingowski is a food freedom coach in Durham, North Carolina.  She is excited to share her journey as a guest blogger for this community!

When I first started working in the “real world”, I thought I had to be serious all the time and put my personality to the side.  I thought that if I was not serious all the time, people would not take my work seriously and I would not be able to grow professionally.  Being in the real world for some time now, I’ve realized that this is far from the truth because at the end of the day, everyone in that office is just as human as me.

I believe that allowing your personality to be seen at work makes you more like-able (as long as you aren’t a total jerk).  I used to be afraid of letting my sarcasm show at work, especially in front of people who were in leadership roles.  I used to be afraid of admitting that I did not understand something or that I made a mistake.

Now, I am trying to do the opposite at work, because I’ve found that being myself and being completely honest allows me to connect with more people and grow as an individual.

Being honest about your skills and knowledge helps you grow.  Recently, I was on a call with people in leadership roles and my director asked me on the call if I could complete a task.  Because I did not completely understand, I flat out said I would ask for help and get it done.  After the call, my manager helped me understand what my director was looking for and now, I have a new skill that I didn’t have before.

I don’t pretend to know it all and in turn, I find that people are more willing to teach me and help me to understand a new concept.  If that does not fuel my growth and development, then I don’t know what does.

Allowing your personality to be seen at work helps you to connect with other people.  Of course, I still take my work very seriously but I do not take myself seriously 24/7.  There’s a difference.

It’s okay to laugh at work.  It’s okay to make jokes with people.  It’s okay to catch up on how people are doing outside of work.

More than likely, you are part of a team and if the people on your team do not really know you, then how will you be able to successfully work together?

If you want to grow in your career, how will your manager help you develop if you are not honest about what skills or knowledge you feel you are lacking?

We spend a lot of time at work and I don’t think being on guard from 9-5 is best for our mental health.  If you can’t breathe, laugh, or be yourself, you will become drained and eventually dread going to the office.  It’s important to take our work seriously, but it’s also important to remember that we are all human.

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