No book, LinkedIn post, or motivational tweet can make you be happy in a job or with a company if the company’s personality does not align with your own. Some organizations need structure and calm in their workforce. Others need a leader to energize a room every time she or he walks in. Whatever your personality, own it and show it – and make sure you are in a place that values it too.
There are a number of personality tests out there to help find your strengths (you may have heard of ones like Myers Briggs or StrengthsFinder). However, one area that is often overlooked is being aware of our values. Values define who you are, how you treat others, and give meaning to your existence. Some values may be intrinsic, like imagination and creativity, leaving the world a better place, or respecting your peers. Others may be extrinsic, like financial stability, status, and recognition.
If you feel you may need to check-in with what you value, here are three simple steps to start that process. (There are no wrong answers and you can have as many values as you like).
1) Write down one something you value. Here is an example: I value creativity.
2) Next, briefly describe what the value means to you. For example, I like playing with data and coming up with new ways to do old things.
3) Then, state how you exhibit the value at work. For me, during my day I try to learn something new and mess around in it. Right now, I am learning how to code in Python and while my math skills are being challenged, I really enjoy creating a goofy code that asks your name and age.
If the last step was tough to answer, or you answered: “I don’t”, you may be in a position that does not fit your personality. The good news is that there is “no one size fits all” approach to success. If a job change is not an option, find some way to live your value at least once during the day. For me, when I don’t have time to be super creative during the day, I build Legos with my son at night.
If you aren’t convinced yet, consider the conservation of energy. If you are always trying to pretend to be someone you are not to fit your job, that takes an enormous amount of energy away from accomplishing your goals.