Everywhere you look, someone is losing their job. Advice comes from all directions: What to do keep your job. How should you find a new job. Should you try to fit in? Should you demonstrate that you stand out? Some believe that they’d better conform to the norm if they want to stay afloat.
Not true! says Robin Fisher Roffer, author ofÂ The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You. Â She asserts “Being different gets you noticed, which is the first step to gaining influence.”
“In a time when many companies are having to make the hard choice between who can stay and who should go, make sure that your name is on the top of the list of employees they can’t afford to lose,” she advises.
Want to know if you are making waves or getting lost in a school of other fish? Roffer offers this quiz to find out!
How fearless are you at work?
Are you the wallflower by the water cooler or the star of your department? Take this quiz and find out if you’re fearlessly making the most of who you are at work.
1. You’re at a meeting and you have a great idea for how to increase sales. Do you:
a) Keep your idea to yourself because people might think it’s stupid.
b) Wait for someone to come up with a similar idea and then add to it.
c) Â Share your idea proudly with the group.
2. You just got hired at a new job and you’ve been invited to a company social event. What’s your social style at the event?
a) Wait on the sidelines for someone to start talking to you.
b) Make conversation with the people who hired you and the folks you know in your department.
c) Go table-to-table introducing yourself to everyone.
3. It’s review season. Do you:
a) Trust your boss to know your best contributions and accept his or her review.
b) Bring a short list of contributions to your review for backup just in case your boss forgets something.
c) Send a high-priority email to your boss prior to your review with a list of your contributions that you’ve been keeping track of all year.
4. Your department didn’t perform as well as expected this quarter. Do you:
a) Blame everything on your coworkers who are poor performers.
b) Accept personal responsibility and apologize profusely to your boss.
c) Acknowledge that mistakes were made and make suggestions for how to improve performance next quarter.
5. What do you feel is your most important contribution to your company?
a) You work long hours and never say no to overtime.
b) Your positive attitude boosts your team’s morale.
c) You are very creative and have a lot of great ideas that drive revenue.
6. How important do you think you are to your company?
a) Not very — I feel I am dispensable.
b) Somewhat — All of my coworkers seem to like me.
c) Very — I am talented, forward-thinking, and proud of what makes me different.
7. Which statement describes your work wardrobe?
a) I follow the dress code — I don’t want to have anyone question my style.
b) I follow the dress code, but add interesting accessories that express who I am.
c) I am a trendsetter — I have a signature style that makes me positively stand out.
8. How would you go about asking your boss for a promotion?
a) Wait until your boss brings it up or your annual review.
b) Wait until after a big company success when everyone’s spirits will be high.
c) Bring it up with your boss as soon as you think you’ve earned it.
9. You’re at a meeting where you feel strongly that your department’s strategy is not up to par, while everyone else thinks it’s right on target. How do you get others on your side?
a) Give up. If no one else agrees with you, you must be wrong.
b) Start by convincing the people in the meeting who seem to like you.
c) After the meeting, go to your boss, state your case, and give solutions.
10. Your department hires someone younger and more technically proficient than you to do a similar job. What’s your move?
a) Assume your company has hired him or her to replace you and start looking for a new job.
b) Let the newbie focus on the technical details, so you have more time to devote to using your unique strengths in sales, marketing, etc.
c) Ask your boss if you can mentor the new person — you’ll seem more important if you’re in a leadership position.
Mostly A’s: Spineless Jellyfish
You are hard working, but underappreciated because you don’t speak up for yourself. It’s okay to have an opinion or idea that differs from the norm and to share it. There is a way to let your voice be heard without alienating yourself. In fact, putting yourself out on the line could finally get you the recognition you deserve.
Mostly B’s: Schooled Fish
You are good at standing up for yourself and are well-liked by your coworkers, but you don’t stand out from the school of fish as much as you could. Push yourself to really think outside the fish bowl and you could have a much bigger impact. Bigger impact means more recognition, which could lead to job security and a promotion when the economy recovers.
Mostly C’s: Holy Mackerel!
You are one fearless fish! But be careful — remember, you can swim your own way, but don’t forget it’s your company’s ocean. You want to ripple the waters, not create a crushing tidal wave. It’s all about balance. Make your confidence work for you without going over the top and alienating coworkers.
Are you a fish out of water at work? Need a new job before someone shows you the door? Contact me before you are desperate. Getting help now can make all the difference. Contact me!