Research shows that you should be yourself at the office - BY ANNE HARDY

You often hear executives and recruiters proclaim that their company hires for culture fit. Should such a statement make you worry?

If it means that the company is hiring people who perfectly match the existing culture or people who are willing to bend to conform to the culture, I worry and maybe you should too as this signals that the company does not recognize the importance of diversity as they should.

When you encounter a company like this, what should you do?  Should you strive to fit in?  The answer is no, especially when it comes at the cost of shutting down aspects of who you are.

Stephen Cope argues that: “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you”. When your work draws together all your faculties, you feel fulfilled, connected, aligned, and most happy. However, when your work requires that you silence parts of yourself, you will feel diminished and unsatisfied. And if that happens too frequently,  your work will progressively undermine your self-esteem and destroy you.

The takeaway is to be your genuine self!  This is best for you, your colleagues, your company and by extension everyone that surrounds you.

Some of you may be wondering who they really are? Determining the answer to this is no small feat.  We tend to know better who we are not than who we are. And trying and searching, relentlessly, is the key to being “you” as “We only know who we are by trying on various versions of ourselves.”

You ultimately want to work for companies that make it possible to search, make choices and evolve your job so that it fits you.  It’s this space that will help you find yourself and your genius.

Do these companies exist? I sure hope so!  The good news we can together build them.