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Would you change your personality for a job?


Double J

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I recently took a job that ended up being a bad fit. One of the things my supervisor had said was that if I wanted to succeed at that job, I needed to be a lot more assertive, self-confident, etc.

 

I'm an introverted, deep thinking, quiet, unassuming guy by nature, and somehow I ended up in Marketing. I loved studying it in college, but now I find myself encountering jobs that cater more to quick thinkers who can juggle 200 projects at one time under impossible deadlines. I've also noticed responsibilities like event planning and media interviews -- things that might suit a social butterfly, but certainly not me.

 

Changing one's personality for a job doesn't sit well with me. Personally, I think it's a matter of finding a field that meshes well with your personality type. Some people maintain that they can be a certain way at home and another way at work, but I find that hard to believe.

 

I think changing yourself for a job, whether for better or worse, will ultimately trickle down to your personal life. You don't suddenly become more assertive at work, and then at home you become Mr. Sourpuss again.

 

What if you like the way you are to being with? Is that a bad thing?

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Have you had to change your personality for a job?

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You can't change it. You can work on things to improve yourself, but you can't change your personality... it will come out eventually.... or you will just become so miserable you will do poorly at your job and develop poor relations with your colleagues.

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I think that in order to be happy and professionally successful it's important to find a career that plays to your strengths. You may be able to tap into parts of yourself that you don't express very often, but you can't fundamentally change your personality to suit a job. If you're quiet and introspective but interested in marketing, maybe you'd be better suited to a behind the scenes job like running focus groups or analyzing marketing data.

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Yep, I've had to exhibit something different on the outside in order to survive in the culture of one employer. Losing my job was not an option because I kept fighting with the VPs, so remaking myself into someone who fits in was the best option available. Every now and then my "real" self comes out - maybe they think it's PMS, LOL

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I am a very very very shy person and I just got a retail job which is forcing me to talk more to people and interact with people more, as I have no choice really. Honestly it was terrifying for me, it does'nt fit me.

 

But its money.

 

I know for a fact that if I become more chatty in work I'll stay the exact same person at home as I was before, because I'm already open with the people who are close to me so it won't be a change. It may make me a little more chatty with new people in general I meet, which honestly would'nt be an awful thing. I am embaressingly shy and I am a loner, a change of pace is gonna be a learning experience for me if nothing else.

I would'nt really call it a personality change though, more of just.. adapting to your environment a bit... not in the evolutionary sense lol.

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i'm a different person when i'm working than when i'm just doing my own thing. i'm painfully shy, but if it's work-related, i smile and talk to people without as much as a flinch. i think it's good to separate yourself from your work. being extroverted and a social butterfly will always benefit you. you shouldn't change yourself, but these are good skills to obtain. i would take the opportunity to fine tune my social skills, but that's just me.

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I am not sure that i agree that 'becoming more assertive and self confident' is equal to changing your personality.

 

There is nothing wrong that you might display a certain personality at home, but at work you have to adapt to the culture within the job. For example I prefer to sleep in in the mornings due to my physiology, however my job requires that I turn up at a certain time. I come from a culture where we are less restricted about what we talk about at work, however I have to accept that now I work in a place where it is culturally a bit more restricted what is acceptable talk or not. I might be a totally bubbly, joking personality at home, but usually at work I have to be a bit more serious.

 

If you can afford to lose this job and if it is easy enough for you to find a job where you can be exactly the way you are - fine, then don't change. But given the economical state I would not risk losing my job.

 

As said in my first sentence, becoming more assertive is always a plus in my books and has nothing to do with giving up who you are as a person. It will benefit you in the long term no matter where you work

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This is the exact same thing I'm going to have to deal with. I'm very much an introvert. Stick me in a room by myself, don't talk to me and I'll get my work done. When it comes to talking on the phone, organizing stuff for other people and doing anything customer related, I'm a complete mess. The problem is, so many more jobs involve this kind of work. I'm scared to think where I'll end up.

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This is the exact same thing I'm going to have to deal with. I'm very much an introvert. Stick me in a room by myself, don't talk to me and I'll get my work done. When it comes to talking on the phone, organizing stuff for other people and doing anything customer related, I'm a complete mess. The problem is, so many more jobs involve this kind of work. I'm scared to think where I'll end up.

 

I know how you feel. I can write things on my own, create things, etc, write articles, but when you put me on the phone with a customer or such situation, I tend to get real shy and clam up and just not do well.

 

I do as much as possible to avoid dealing with people.

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I know how you feel. I can write things on my own, create things, etc, write articles, but when you put me on the phone with a customer or such situation, I tend to get real shy and clam up and just not do well.

 

I do as much as possible to avoid dealing with people.

 

I've actually tried to change my personality for a couple of jobs. My parents encouraged me to do it in order to get over my shyness. Big mistake. I'd get yelled at and end up leaving in tears and never returning. This is partly why I haven't tried to get another job while I'm still in school.

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I have trouble dealing with being yelled at at work (although that hasn't happened much to me). I tend to run to the bathroom and cry if that happens or else I get real nervous and jumpy and makes me fear my job even more.

 

I don't quit though. My first job out of college was a very fast-paced, frenetic job (although quite well-paying). Got yelled at a lot and had to perform well under pressure. I quickly found a new job that was more laid back and relaxed.

 

Can't deal with that kind of stuff.

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I do as much as possible to avoid dealing with people.

 

By trying to avoid dealing with people, you will not learn how to handle these situations any better in the future. In the current economical situation, an employer can afford to not renew/ extend contracts and replace you easily with someone who has less problems with these kind of things (if you have that kind of job where it is important to deal/ interact with people).

 

Is it fair that some things are easier for extrovert people? Of course not. But currently, an employer has to make sure that all the available positions are filled by people who do the best possible job. There are not many employers who can afford to have someone do half a good job due to their personality, but having to employ someone else to take over the parts that your personality limits you to do.

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By trying to avoid dealing with people, you will not learn how to handle these situations any better in the future. In the current economical situation, an employer can afford to not renew/ extend contracts and replace you easily with someone who has less problems with these kind of things (if you have that kind of job where it is important to deal/ interact with people).

 

Is it fair that some things are easier for extrovert people? Of course not. But currently, an employer has to make sure that all the available positions are filled by people who do the best possible job. There are not many employers who can afford to have someone do half a good job due to their personality, but having to employ someone else to take over the parts that your personality limits you to do.

 

This is why it's important to try to find a job that's fitting and makes you feel comfortable. If an employer has a problem with my personality, then they can find someone else for the role because I don't want it.

 

(I know you didn't ask me, but I wanted to respond anyway!)

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(I know you didn't ask me, but I wanted to respond anyway!)

 

Yes, I totally agree with you, that everyone should try to find a job that is fitting to their personality. I am just not sure how easy it is currently to do so.

 

I also do not know many jobs where you don't have to interact with other people, thus I would always recommend my shy friends to try to overcome their shyness at least when it comes to finding/ maintaining a job

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By trying to avoid dealing with people, you will not learn how to handle these situations any better in the future. In the current economical situation, an employer can afford to not renew/ extend contracts and replace you easily with someone who has less problems with these kind of things (if you have that kind of job where it is important to deal/ interact with people).

 

Is it fair that some things are easier for extrovert people? Of course not. But currently, an employer has to make sure that all the available positions are filled by people who do the best possible job. There are not many employers who can afford to have someone do half a good job due to their personality, but having to employ someone else to take over the parts that your personality limits you to do.

 

But sometimes dealing with people makes you sweat, get nervous, mumble, stutter and freak out inwardly. That's hard to deal with too. I try to deal with issues via email more than phone, as my way to keep my anxiety and freakouts to a minimum. I also take anxiety meds to help me. Besides, conversing with email is better since I can forward my document changes and amendments to the customer and have to provide me with feedback so I can create or revise to their requirements.

 

I could and would never do a sales job because I probably would get so nervous dealing with customers, esp irate or unhappy customers, that I'd probably cry.

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Maybe you're different as I would never try to speak for anyone else, but from what I've encountered in a an almost exact situation was that there was no changing me at all. I just wouldn't budge. I tried to fit into the job, but like relationships--you can't change the people involved.

 

To that end, I would try to fake it until you either make it into a different role or else cling to this position until you find something else more suitable to your type.

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But sometimes dealing with people makes you sweat, get nervous, mumble, stutter and freak out inwardly. That's hard to deal with too. I try to deal with issues via email more than phone, as my way to keep my anxiety and freakouts to a minimum. I also take anxiety meds to help me. Besides, conversing with email is better since I can forward my document changes and amendments to the customer and have to provide me with feedback so I can create or revise to their requirements.

 

Excellent if you find a way to deal with the job requirements in a way more suitable to your personality. But unfortunately that is not always possible for everyone.

 

The good thing however is that in most (I realize that is not valid for all jobs) jobs the situations that you have to deal with are similar, or the variety is limited, thus you can train yourself (either by yourself or a course or your therapist) for dealing with exactly those kind of situations.

 

I have a wonderfully exceptional boss, who is trying to do his best to accommodate people according to their personality (actually I am the one who reports back to him what the personality of our employees is, just because he doesn't see them on a regular basis), but in return he expects that everyone puts in much more than the minimum and that people are truly dedicated to doing their jobs; it's a fair requirement, because there are so many people who would love to have a job with us.

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