There’s a topic that keeps coming up in my professional life, and it’s quite simply this: work is personal. What you do on the job is an expression of yourself, albeit through many filters of corporate speak and the lens of your occupation’s unique perspective. I’ve worked with many people over the years, especially younger ones, who seem to think they flip a switch and turn off work precisely at 5 PM. Their personal lives then restart on the way to their homes or the gym or wherever they choose to go.
I’ve spent forty years in the field, and the longer I’ve been working, the more I’ve gained perspective. Even in a job where I’m following a specified process, my personal touch is all around. When I worked as an electrician, I thought everyone was doing the exact same job in the same way. However, when a coworker arrived at a job site for the first time and could immediately pick out my work, I realized that assumption was incorrect. He could identify my work through the blur of everyone else’s, and that drove home the idea that my work was distinctly mine.
When it comes down to it, this concept is true for everyone. The woman who edits this blog, for example, does so by utilizing her own unique experience and style. Another editor would undoubtedly put a different spin on my rough writing.
The bottom line is that your personality is evident in everything you do. De-personalizing yourself and trying to simply complete a task serves no one, and least of all (perhaps a bit ironically) the corporation or organization you serve. Don’t be afraid to put a bit of personal polish on whatever it is that you do, and take pride in a job well done. You deserve recognition, and no one can allow you to thrive in your environment better than you.
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