No matter how many friends you have outside of work, it can be a challenge to let your personality shine at a new job. Becoming accustomed to a brand new office environment can be just as difficult as juggling incoming emails, phone calls, meetings, and projects (due ASAP!). But there are a number of ways to let your personality shine at a new job, and it won’t take a miracle or an endless series of pep talks to win over your coworkers. Here are 7 ways to get you started. Work it, girl!
1. Deck out Your Cubicle
Secret: This is one of the most effective ways to let your personality shine at a new job! On my first day of work, I was ushered to a corner cubicle with three small walls of my own space. Granted, I’d never dream of plastering the walls with hottie models (though wouldn’t that be nice?), but I used the opportunity to shop around for cute-yet-functional desk accessories, fresh notepads and pens (who wants to use the plain, boring ones in the supply closet? Not this girl!), and a sweet-smelling bottle of hand lotion. I got crafty and made collages of family photos and inspiring (completely-clothed) celebrities. Think of your workspace as an extension of your personality. When coworkers stroll by your desk, they’ll have a chance to see parts of who you are. If your space is plain and boring, you risk appearing plain and boring, too. A handful of coworkers have already stopped by my desk to ask about the photos, which have become a conversation starter. Points for me!
2. Wear Your Personality on Your Sleeve…Literally
While some corporate environments require you to wear suits and pumps, others are lax. At my office, I’m able to show off my personal style, which includes trendy skirts and frocks and a handful of pink hair streaks –which my bosses love, by the way. If you’ve been donning grey or black skirt suits for as long as you can remember, start small with a statement bag and a new piece of colorful jewelry. Use it as your starting point, remembering to avoid pieces that are too short or too low-cut. Funky nail polish is another way to get your hues on!
3. Walk up to Someone You Don’t Directly Work with…
…introduce yourself, and invite him/her to lunch if the conversation goes well. It can be tiring to see the same people all week, every week. Making friends around the office will increase the number of people in your corner. And since they’re not your bosses, you can share more of your interests and crack a few jokes –just don’t get wild because you still want people to take you seriously.
4. Speak up in Meetings
When you’re a new employee, it can be easy to sit back and let your bosses and coworkers lead the conversation. After all, they’ve been there and know the company. But you’ll all be missing out –I know you ladies have amazing, fresh ideas that could improve your workplace! So, don’t hesitate to offer them up, but don’t attempt to dominate the conversation. Doing this will make you more comfortable around the people you work with, and your bright ideas will help you stand out.
5. Attend the Company Parties
Sure, your 9 to 5 can stress ANYONE out and make you feel exhausted at the end of a long week. But once the snacks are served and the drinks are poured, you’ll forget all about the deadlines and meetings…if only for a few hours. People let loose a bit during office parties, and they’re prime time for you to chat with people about what you do when you’re not answering your boss’ phone.
6. Use Your Skills
If you’re first starting out, there’s a good chance you’ve been lumped into an assistant position where you’re doing basic administrative tasks like answering emails and updating Excel sheets. But you don’t have to feel ‘stuck’ there. If you have free time on the job (chances are, at SOME point you will), offer your help with the company’s social media account, newsletter, or anything else that piques your interest. First, you’ll be showing initiative and second, you’ll be proving to the world (or at least your office!) that you have needed skills. At my company, those who write the news updates insert their own tidbits, jokes, and opinions into the email. It’s a great way to get to know their personality and thought processes. Whatever you take on, don’t be shy!
7. Take Risks Regularly
No, you don’t want to break office policies, but if you don’t invite a coworker to lunch, pitch that idea (even though you might be a lowly assistant), or take on that project, you’re going to feel stuck and bored in a few months. Aim to take one small risk every day, whether it’s wearing your hair in a new style or volunteering for a project. Now go get ‘em!
These are 7 top ways to let your fabulous personality shine in the workplace. Which tips do you plan on testing out? Do you have any of your own advice to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!