How being a good actor can further your career

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Thu, Oct 20, 2016 by Jobbuh


If you're like most people, you probably can't stand fake people. It's very easy to tell when someone is acting fake, and this is especially true at work. There's no way people act that proper and polite outside of the workplace, yet when they are at work, they act impeccable, without flaws, and like everything the company does is great. Surely this can't be how these people really are. They must be robots, or some type of genetically engineered creation by the company. Chances are they are probably in management and cashing in large checks while you're scrambling to survive from paycheck to paycheck. Something about this just doesn't seem fair.

The reality is the workplace is the biggest acting stage possible. No one is that happy at work and that agreeable with company policies and procedures, but the ones that act like they are will be more likely to be promoted. The term "just be yourself" may work on a first date or in your personal life, but at work this will not get you ahead. That's not necessarily healthy, studies show that suppressing ones's natural behavior eventually leads to health problems, but companies want people in management roles that are going to preach company values and put on a facade that everything in the company is great. 

In my normal day job, I have many frustrations and issues with how things are done at the company. There is unfair pressure and expectations, and many employees are very vocal about that. I've learned through the years and through different jobs I've had that being vocal about that is not the right way to handle it. Pretending like I am happy and instead choosing to help those employees that do want to be vocal has actually helped me. While there are times I've felt wrong about this because I feel the same way others do, it is a necessary evil towards getting ahead in the company. Do I sometimes feel guilty for acting this way when I want to scream like everyone else? Absolutely. But that's not the right way to handle it. I keep it inside until I get home, or I talk to a very small group of co-workers that I trust and consider friends. That circle is very small and I will keep that way.

We're not saying you have to tell your boss how great his tie is every day or how cool his four year old's drawing of who knows what is, behavior like that will just cause people to see through you and dislike you. There are more subtle ways to be an actor and they will have an impact. The first thing to do is always have a smile on your face, regardless of how you're feeling. Good day or bad day, keep that smile on your face and you will be viewed as positive. Give small subtle compliments, nothing over the top. Things like, heard you had a great quarter, loved your presentation, that new policy will really increase morale, little phrases like that will be received well. If you have a recognition system for employees, use this as often as possible, even when things don't go well try to find a reason for recognizing an employee who tried to fix a situation. And always be positive. Even if you want to be negative, keep it to yourself, and vent later to a spouse or friend.

Are these things to be proud of and will they make you feel good? Probably not. But they are the things that you need to do to get ahead in the business world. When you step into the workplace, the lights go on. It's Showtime.

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