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How Being Quirky And Unique Can Improve Your Life

How Being Quirky And Unique Can Improve Your Life

Many people believe that calling someone “quirky” is a derogative term, but it’s not. Being quirky means that you are different, but in a lovable way. Let’s clear up some things right from the start: I’m not here to tell you how you can play the role of a unique, quirky person by giving you acting tips. I’m also not here to talk about weirdness. Being weird is a different thing altogether and it’s a subject for another time.

Being quirky isn’t something reserved for the chosen few, but only some of us allow our inner quirks to surface in everyday social interactions. The reason why most people tend to keep themselves on a “mental leash” is the fear of coming off weird and alienating people around them. This is a genuine concern, considering that one man’s quirks can most certainly be another man’s weirdness.

Still, there are more than a few reasons why you should surpass this fear of being judged and allow your unique personality traits to mark you as the unique human being that you are. Social norms and rules of conduct are all well and fine, but in most cases they are not as restrictive as we perceive them. Here are few ways that your quirks can work to your benefit.

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Quirky people tend to be more confident

    Being unique isn’t easy. Even though most people don’t really have anything against someone being unique, casual humorous jabs at the expense of these traits are quite common, and after a while they can tire a person out, leading to annoyance or insecurity. Furthermore, not everyone will understand how you can be that different from the majority of people around you (in most cases this will be your parents, but it doesn’t just stop there) and they will be uncertain why someone would want to be so different. This can lead to you being pressured to fall in line with everyone else and endure “serious talks” with a final goal of helping you, even though you didn’t ask for it.

    This pressure usually gives counterproductive results and actually leads to a confident person who is at ease with who they are. People who are OK with the unique side of their personality being public are used to having a different perspective than others and will not shy away from making decisions that seem radical to the outside world.

    Your quirks can lead you to unique opportunities

    Quirkiness is reflected in more than a couple of things. It can be the way we talk, what we eat, what hobbies we have, our music taste, our movie taste, and tons of other things. Once we accept the ways we are different than the rest of the world, we usually start focusing on these things a bit more and exploring their depth. Developing this uniqueness usually means research or hands-on experience, which almost always helps us develop skills and acquire knowledge not many people have mastery over. This can lead to finding interesting career paths, networking through alternative channels, working on creative projects, and so on.

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    Your quirks ensure that you are not easily forgotten

    A regular conversation with a person who keeps their quirks in check tends to follow the proposed social norms and rarely strays from this path. Sure, sticking to the norm makes communication a bit more direct, easier, and more predictable, but it also removes all the fun. It can feel as if we are just going through the motions, and this is why these conversations can be easily forgotten.

    A conversation with a person with a couple of loose quirks almost always leaves an impression, and we all know there is no such thing as bad publicity. Even brands are attempting to draw out some quirkiness to get these benefits for their branding process. Quirky people usually don’t follow the proposed best practices for job interviews and will rarely resort to generic answers. This helps them be remembered by the interviewers and increases their chances of getting called back.

    Spotting unique personality traits in others is a lot easier for quirky people

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      Let’s take a seemingly simple situation like choosing a present as an example. Most people are biased by their own wishes when picking out a present for someone, or rely on stereotypes and protocol to make it easier for them. Quirky people choose a different path. They tend to remember small things mentioned in casual conversations that point to a person’s inner passions, which allows them to pick out something that the person really likes and surprise them in the process.

      This perk doesn’t just come in handy in this situation. It has its fair share of benefits in the work environment, relationships, family affairs, and so on. Furthermore, quirky people don’t find differences that confusing. They are very much aware that their lifestyles deviate from the norm. Because of this, they don’t see diversity as strange, but instead as very interesting.

      Thinking outside the box is second nature to quirky people

      Living a bit outside of social norms is something that requires you to make decisions on your own. This means that you need to get creative in order to make your life plan fit into an environment not ideal for it. Creative thinking is essential for the survival of unique points of view. Proving to people that there is a different solution to a common question can only be done by people who see an alternative. Quirky people never let their creative juices rest.

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      Being unique is merely exploring yourself a bit more and finding the unique interests that you are passionate about, then allowing them to surface in everyday interactions. Still, being quirky doesn’t mean you should be pushy. Relax and don’t force things. Be comfortable with who you are and work on yourself. This is easier said than done, but I always find comfort in the realization that everyone is doing this, with more and less success, which means we can all help each other out on that road.

      Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Unsplash-242387/ via pixabay.com

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      1 How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up 2 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late 3 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer 4 If You Think You’re in an Unhappy Marriage, Remember These 5 Things 5 7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

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      Last Updated on March 14, 2019

      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

      Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

      For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

      Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

      1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

      A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

      It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

      It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

      How it helps you:

      If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

      Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

      2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

      Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

      Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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      How it helps you:

      Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

      Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

      If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

      Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

      3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

      Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

      Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

      How it helps you:

      This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

      For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

      Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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      A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

      4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

      To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

      A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

      How it helps you:

      One word: hierarchy.

      All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

      In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

      If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

      5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

      Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

      Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

      How it helps you:

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      Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

      If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

      This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

      6. What do you like about working here?

      This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

      Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

      How it helps you:

      You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

      Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

      Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

      7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

      What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

      As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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      How it helps you:

      What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

      First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

      Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

      Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

      Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

      Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

      Making Your Interview Work for You

      Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

      Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

      More Resources About Job Interviews

      Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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