Jagriti Kumar, 31, Sales & Marketing professional, Dancer, Amateur Baker
There are many people and events that play role in making us who we are. But sometimes, you're told to be someone you're just not. And that's where you should draw the line. There are so many times I've been told that being loud, social, familiar, chatty, excited (all the good things about me :)) make some people think I am either not serious about my work or that I'm not working hard enough. Perceptions matter so much, especially in the corporate world. In order to drive results and have precise discussions, I am all for being a certain way in meetings, in decision making conversations and in debates etc. But must I be like that all day, every day at work? In an ideal world, your work should speak for itself. However, your personality, outside of meetings, also seems to count a fair bit.
No one is perfect. We all evolve over time - through hardships, successes, relationships and feedback. We must. I've learned to be more patient (it’s still wip), listen more, judge less, expect less, trust myself more.
I tried very hard, on many occasions, to instruct myself to be more sedate - Don't talk to people unless there is work, only chat with the few close friends I have, don't laugh, don't be loud, just put your head down and work. But I realized I just couldn't do it. It made me miserable; being miserable made me give less than my best. That's no good! I need to have people to talk to, interesting conversations that are not about work, people to learn from and quick breaks from all the work.
For me to do a good job & give my best, I need to enjoy what I do and have fun where I work. Asking me to change the essence of me for the sake of preconceived perceptions is going to backfire from a work deliverable sense. So I decided to be me while working hard and ensuring that I did the best I could. In some teams it works, in some it doesn't. But you need to be you in the most basic way possible. You need to be happy with yourself as a person to be able to deliver good work. If your team is good, they will recognize that. Else, it's a big world out there, explore it