What’s up with your job lately?

You don’t feel comfortable there. You feel a little queasy as soon as you walk up to the front door every morning. You can’t wait to go outside on your lunch break. You lie in bed every night wondering how you survived another day. It’s not that your workplace is terrible or anything - you’ve been through a lot worse - but you can’t help but feel this general sense of dread and anxiety about being there. Deep down, you’re starting to feel like those teenagers who can’t go to sleep in the Freddy Krueger movies.

Why is that, anyway? You’re doing everything they’re asking. You’re nice. You help people out. You contribute. You do what’s expected of you...and then some.

But you feel like you can’t be yourself. You feel like whenever you reveal just a tiny bit about who you are, your coworkers don’t know how to respond. They react to you like you're a llama that suddenly learned how to talk. (You know people love talking animals, too, so you’re extra-confused.)

Maybe it’s because you’re not binge-watching House of Cards. Or maybe it’s because you didn’t catch the latest Ted Talk on how mayonnaise can be used as clean fuel.

You already know the real reason why, though. Be honest.

Your workplace doesn’t appreciate who you are.


You’re Too Creative

Creativity is important in any job. It doesn’t matter if you’re washing dusty windows in Tucson or providing over the phone customer support for hand warmers in Korea. Creativity isn’t just about making macaroni art and composing epic poems - it’s about how you carry yourself, how you communicate, and how you approach every task that you need to accomplish. It’s about shifting perspectives, imbuing a sense of life into a situation, providing a breath of fresh air. Creativity is about transforming the everyday into the extraordinary.

If you’re in a workplace in which no one seems to appreciate this valuable skill that you carry, or if they’re threatened by it, or they feel uncomfortable with you exercising it, then you know they don’t want you to be your authentic self because they’re not in touch with their own authentic selves. A truly successful organization will encourage you to be creative and will listen to your input, even if they don’t use it. An organization that doesn’t...well, I won’t finish that sentence.

You’re More Diplomatic Than Those Above You

If you find yourself being the one who’s behaving in a compassionate and fair manner, who is able to communicate gently, who is able to put their ego aside in order for the benefit of all - then you know you’re golden.

If your boss is the opposite of this...if their ego gets in the way, if they are too controlling, if they only view you as a tool, if they treat you as someone that isn’t equal to them, and if they play favorites - then you know they’re not golden.

You Keep It Real

You see what’s going on and you call it out (discreetly). You might notice a particular procedure doesn’t make sense or a simple improvement could work wonders for your organization. Or, you might notice that your manager’s favorite pet is sitting around looking at Buzzfeed for hours while you’re busy busting your butt.

If you bring this to their attention, they don’t want to hear it. They start acting touchy and resentful. Guess what? You’re being too real for them. You don’t have to apologize. They need to hear these things even if they don’t want to face them.

You Don’t Freak Out Enough

People can be addicted to stress. Some workplaces thrive on this frantic energy. If you’re not feeding into this, they’ll act like you’re not concerned or serious about what’s going on. You are - you’re just acting from a calm, wise, centered place within yourself. The place that gets things done. The place that sees the future and the past. The place that has survived everything up until now. Keep on doing this.

You Have Vision

You see the possibilities. You get flashes of what a better logo would look like, an idea for a blog post, a new way you can monetize a certain service that your organization offers. You are in touch with the spirit of the business you work for. You feel how it can be better expressed to the world. Everyone around you seems to be obsessed with maintaining a status quo that isn’t heeding tremendous results. They’re not interested in what you’re seeing in your mind’s eye. They don’t trust it. It’s okay, that’s their loss.

You Don’t Play Games

You’re there to work. You’re there to build your professional life. You’re there to use this business as a platform for your career. They’re there to get involved in gossip and workplace politics because they watch way too much reality TV and Scandal. Sad face.

You're Authentic

...And you must continue to be. That’s how you’ll find a more successful, nurturing working environment. You knew that deep down anyway.

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