Somebody is Watching You

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Being unique in the workplace is something to be embraced, not something to be ashamed of. It doesn’t always feel comfortable being different. Walking into a room where everyone is similar in their dress, their speech, and their actions can feel a bit intimidating—you feel like the odd woman. All of the books for women in the workplace that talk about Leaning In, thriving and getting out of our own way don’t really speak to the exceptional person that you are. At times, that feeling can cause a person to stay quiet, sit in a corner, and try not to be noticed. Well that, my dears, is the wrong attitude to have.

What you don’t realize in those moments of being hung up on being different is that everyone is watching you. People want to know what makes you believe you don’t have to be like everyone else. How is it that you are able to be so connected and knowledgeable about the field, while not giving in to the social work pressure of being like everyone else? Yes, you fit in; you watch Scandal, keep up with the local sports team, and know about the new restaurant that just opened, but you still stand out. When you speak, people pay attention. With all of this attention, you it’s time to step boldly into who you are.

Look straight ahead—shoulders back, chest out—smile, and walk through the office knowing you are unique. You stand out in your appearance, your style of work, and your ability to solve problems—in and out of the office. You are the catch every company is trying to find. It’s not necessarily that you “think outside of the box,” but you don’t give cookie-cutter answers. How you approach a problem, the client, and the project are done in a way that people ask how you connected those dots. They wonder not just how they missed it, but how you saw it at all.

Don’t crouch down in the back of the room; sit near the person in charge. You’re being watched anyway, so why not make it a point to be seen? The same people always raise their hands for new projects, knowing that you won’t; well not today—raise your hand, and add a little “I will” to it. Thriving in the workplace means you make sure you take care of you. Accepting your uniqueness in a positive way is thriving in a way that benefits you in every aspect of your life.

Starting today, celebrate how special you are by letting all of YOU go free in the workplace. Boldly take a stand for the person you were created to be and the person you are.