I entered my shared office in Madison, Connecticut prepared to give a presentation. The audience would be arriving in 20 minutes and to my not pleasant surprise, two electricians were drilling in my suite mate’s office. I had been told by my office share friend that the work was being done the previous day. Not good!
I normally try to embrace calm but my first words were “I have a presentation in 30 minutes…” and while I tried to be pleasant, I’m sure my voice indicated stress. Dan, one of the electricians, responded with a smile: “That’s great. Will there be women in the presentation?” He completely disarmed me with his sense of humor. Soon enough, we sorted out how we both could get our work done, made a few more jokes with one another and then I asked him to join me for some bagels that I had brought for the group.
I told him I was giving a talk on career happiness and I was interested in how he found career happiness. “I liked being an electrician. But I almost quit. I was working for someone with no sense of humor and as you can tell I like to joke around.” He then described the all too common feeling of not being able to be himself at work. At some point, he and the other electrician (another funny guy!) went out on their own. Since then, work has been a blast because for Dan because can be himself.
One of the nicer things I heard from an old friend when we discussed Career Counseling Connecticut was “that’s great, you get to be yourself at work.” I hope the same for you.