It’s long been demonstrated that companies that create great work cultures see big benefits from doing so. They experience lower turnover and better financial performance than their peers, see improved track records on safety and customer satisfaction, and are sought out by better quality job applicants.
What’s less obvious is the payoff enjoyed by the individual employee who smartly chooses their workplace culture. As you interview for your next job, being attuned to critical cultural elements won’t just inform that important next career step, if you choose well, it’ll lift your on-the-job engagement, productivity and overall wellbeing and satisfaction.
The most important career capital you have isn’t your technical skills or academic pedigree. It’s not your high-flying title. It’s not even your relationships… It’s your reputation. In every job, people will wonder if you have what it takes to get things done and if you can deal with a wide range of people. They’ll be more than curious if you can handle crises and adversity. My favorite mentor has been known to caution, “Your reputation gets to the next place before you do….What will it be?”
Have you ever been tempted to ignore your agenda in order to keep harmony? Maybe you behaved cooperatively to avoid unwanted attention or being the dissenter on a matter. Perhaps you dodged using your voice because the potential damage to a relationship was just too great. Whether you engage in these slights to yourself a little bit or a lot, you have pleaser tendencies. And I can assure you, those default behaviors aren’t endearing you to others the way you may think they are.
Have you ever sat in a meeting and felt ignored or utterly unimportant? Perhaps you offered up an idea that someone else seized upon. Maybe you inserted yourself into the conversation but no one gave you their eye contact or their attention. Whether you’re the youngest in the room or the one from a department no one respects (or you’re just not getting your due for unknown reasons), you can lean on these four strategies to re-assert yourself.
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