Posted by: healingtheworkplace | February 28, 2008

Dare to Be Yourself at Work

Dare to Be Yourself is the title of a book written by Alan Cohen. It could also be the mantra of those of us seeking to find satisfaction in our lives through our work.


The one place that we might find it difficult to “be ourselves” is in the workplace. This is really too bad as we spend a good part of our lives there.  I read somewhere that each year the average North American spends 2000 hours at work. YIKES!!!

There is definately a connection between healthy workplaces and job satisfaction.

Here is a list of 10 things that contribute to job satisfaction:

  1. Achievement: Success is important in life and we all need to be recognized for our accomplishments.  
  2. Adventure: It may not be that easy to find adventure in a bank so you may have to pick and choose where you work.
  3. Altruism: Giving back to others. The dictionary defines altruism as “unselfishly giving back to others”. These days, progressive organizations provide workers with opportunities to contribute to their communities.
  4. AutonomyWho doesn’t want control over their work?
  5. Challenge: Without challenge we would be bored. At least I would be. Challenge can be found in work that is difficult, complex, and leads to a sense of mastery and achievement.
  6. ColleaguesSome people prefer to work on their own. The rest of us need contact with fellow human beings.  
  7. Creativity: Being creative at work can lead to innovation which is good for the bottom line. Perhaps more importantly, the ability to be creative at work enables us to use our talents and gifts. 
  8. Economic Returns: Being paid WELL for our contribution to the organization’s success. Beside this is what keeps the world’s economy going. Right?
  9. Growth: We are no different than other living organisms. We must continue to grow and thrive. We grow in many ways: intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually. A healthy organization recognizes this fact. Here’s what Edgar Schein has to say about unhealthy organizations, “There can be little growth and development for employees at any level in a sick and stagnant organization. It is in the best interests of both the individual and the organization to have a healthy organization that can provide opportunities for growth.”
  10. Spirituality: The word spirit derives from the Latin word spiritus meaning “to breathe, to give life”. Inspire means to breathe in. Without spirit in our organizations there is no life! Our spiritual self asks, Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? It is important to recognize this aspect of ourselves and to be able to express it at work.

Of course this list doesn’t cover everything. What’s on your list?



  1. I think being myself at work has been one the things I find difficult. I believe that work is work and nothing more. If I want to make friends I know exactly where to go, if I want to have fun I know where to go. It all boils down to purpose and ambition. There is a reason for me to be at work and I am gearing for it and only it.When I succed in my goals then I can be myself ( in my own company) For now I need to show 2 things to the people I work for 1. Code of Honor and Code of Conduct. And hopefully they will see both the pasion and desire in me to push me up the ladder

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment. I agree that work is not necessarily the place to make friends or have fun but I do believe that it is important for your well being to “be yourself” at work. That means that you are able to bring who you are to work…your purpose in life, your passions, your skills and talents etc. This is what makes you YOU and makes you real. This will help you move up the ladder and make it easier to achieve your goals. Happy New Year to you! Wishing you much success too. Lesley

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