Are You Your Authentic Self At Work?

Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever thought about the way people act at work and if they act that same way at home?  Do you think there are really that many people who show you who they really are in a work environment?

I think about the gossips, backstabbers, jokers and the depressed and wonder what their life is like at home.  Would the people they associate with at home recognize their work personas or do you think those closest to them would be shocked?

I remember when I worked on the line at a truck plant.  At the time I was going through a messy divorce.  I was stressed, exhausted and depressed.  To make matters even more unbearable, my job was monotonous.  I did the same job day after day, week after week and because it was an assembly line, I made the same motions to complete the job in front of me under a minute, repeatedly for hours at a time.

It made sense to me that I found ways to entertain myself.  If I hadn’t, I would have lost my mind.  I became the jokster and the person who made a party out of what was miserably boring.

I had a group of friends who surrounded me on the line.  We played music and danced. Watched movies and ate popcorn and we threw rolled up gloves (known as gloveballs) at each other.  When winter was in full swing, the frames would come in the doors from right outside.  Snow would be mounded up on the frames.  It was an opportunity for snowball fights and building miniature snowmen right on top of those frames.

All of this was done while the line moved and we did our jobs.  It was our way of surviving.

Days when we worked overtime, we would bring in food and a grill and cook like we were at a bbq.  Our line leader would be dragged into doing the cooking in exchange for free food while we worked on the line.  The meal would be cooked and we would eat at break time with the good smells of bbq wafting through the factory air.

I found a way to make my days manageable.  I got through the monotony with tons of creativity.  The funny part was that this was nothing like my personality at home.  I was not a high energy individual.  I didn’t crave companionship and parties.  I am actually an introvert at heart who loves peaceful moments and quiet gatherings.

It was the atmosphere I was in that had me finding a way to get through each day in a way that made my life on the line bearable.

This brings me back to my thoughts on how others behave at work.  How many people are their authentic selves?  To what lengths do people tweak their personalities to fit in, find work bearable and feel okay about their “second self?”

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Do you think that most people change in a work environment?  Do you think that politics, long hours, boring jobs and little use of imagination bring out a different side in most people?  Let me know in the comments below.


About wmccance

Freelance writer and social media consultant. learn more at:
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2 Responses to Are You Your Authentic Self At Work?

  1. joshuaanandaclayton says:

    I had to think about the answer to this one well before I did answer, and the answer is: I am consistent as Mr. Sherman Peabody in all of it in a way, because I am the same at both, I put my all into it all gratefully without cutting corners. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is interesting, I will not use the word “bad” because in a way, when you do your best, it does not apply. I consider the work I do outside of the house and writing my work which is delivering meals to seniors in their homes with Meals on Wheels, and volunteering for other things also. So, of course, I put my all and put my love into things I love to do. I am the same way with my writing and all that I do, so I can honestly surmise that all I am saying here is accurate.

    • wmccance says:

      That’s fantastic. Sounds like you are doing some wonderful things as well. I think it takes a very strong person to stay true to themself no matter what situation they are in.

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