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14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? If you work in an office, then you know the workplace can be a zoo of personalities. The commotion of the work environment can bring out the best and worst of us. And that’s just it – all of us have these internal opposing sides. We have strengths and weaknesses too, and the unique combination of these characteristics is what makes us distinct.

In the office, as in all work environments, it’s important for employees to focus on communication, teamwork, morale and an overall professional tone. Being the people we are, we can get in the way of our goals. One step that can help improve how we interact is to identify our personality archetypes, weaknesses and strengths alike. We can only improve how we work with others once we’ve acquired some sense of self-awareness.

With at least 14 personality types to consider, this process could get interesting. Yes, think of it at least in terms of entertainment, if nothing else. It’s an invaluable skill to be able to laugh at oneself.

Which One Are You?

The Micromanager

No one wants to be the micromanager, as they’re disliked by everyone. Yet, the micromanager is ubiquitous, transcending all industries and workplace environments. Without doubt, you’ve them in the office. You’ll know them by their compulsive ‘hovering’ behavior. Typically micromanagers are managers, or bosses of some kind. They question employees’ every move, demand constant updates, and struggle to delegate work or give up control.

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The Overcommitted Colleague

Similar to the overachiever, the over-committer cannot say ‘no.’ They stay at work late, chair fundraisers, volunteer to bring the donuts to every meeting, host work parties. The overcommitted do it all. They can be nice to have around, clearly, because they’ll take care of all the little jobs no one else wants to. This behavior creates a number of problems. It can make it impossible for their coworkers to get new opportunities. Overcommitted workers may be sincere do-gooders. But they may be manipulative and uber-controlling. They’re unpredictable and definitely hard to read.

The Office Gossip

This personality requires little explanation. They were likely the gossipers on the playground when you were little, gossipers in high school and college. Now they gossip in your professional life. Stay away. It’s hard not to be swept away once you involve yourself, so just don’t go there.

The Connector

The connector personality can turn your work life upside down – in a good way. They are the colleagues in the know. Connectors excel at hooking people up to build more productive teams. They connect work-seekers with employers. Once you find a connector, treat them well, and learn how to appreciate their gift. If you’re a more withdrawn personality, you may find the connector intimidating. Just remember that the connector type tends to like everyone, or at least can appreciate aspects of every personality.

The Anti-Social

It’s hard to say if the anti-social types are lonely. Maybe they dislike the company of others, and therefore find solitude a more satisfying experience. You’ll know the antisocial type by their absence, if that makes sense. They won’t be at the office parties or Friday happy hours. You won’t find them hanging around the lunch room. They’re just not to be found.

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The “Know-It-All”

They have an answer for everything. Everything. Know-it-alls interject their glowing insights at every chance. They speak up (and won’t shut up) at meetings, at social events. They give unwarranted advice and, unfortunately, don’t seem to take ‘no thank you’ for an answer. Another problem is that though they may seem knowledgeable, they often aren’t.

The Lazy Ones

The lazy workers depend on the overcommitted, even the micromanager. It’s a mystery to everyone how the lazy coworker is still employed, but there they are, doing nothing every day. They may frequent your cubicle, stopping by to chat, find out what you’re having for lunch, or maybe they just stand there, staring. It may be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. If you have an office full of overcommitted, go-getter types, maybe the ‘lazy one’ is actually an average worker.

The Talker

Similar to the know-it-all, the talker is successful at distracting their peers with their annoying, attention-seeking behavior. The talker wants to talk, not work. It makes a person wonder what the talker would do with themselves if they were out of the job. Who would listen to them? The talker can be nice to have around, though, if you struggle to interact socially. Sidle up to the talker at an office party, and it’s smooth sailing.

The Stressed-Out

You may know them as the office ‘drama queen,’ a derogatory term in my opinion. I’m taking the liberty to defend the stressed worker because I self-identify as one. Everything is a big deal for us. Every deadline, every change coming down the pipeline. Go easy on the stress freaks. We’re doing the best we can!

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The Chillax

The so-called ‘chillax’ workers are the type everyone in the office should probably hang around more often. Their keep their personal lives at home so they can roll with the punches at work. The chillax keep the stress in check. They may be seen as lazy by workaholics, but the chillax don’t care . . . because they’re chillax.

The Clown

You may love or hate the office clown. It’s a real toss-up. At their best, the clown can add value by breaking the ice in tense situations, livening up dull meetings and making their coworkers laugh on dreadful Monday mornings. At their worst, they aren’t funny at all. They may not know how to end a joke, take their job seriously, take anything seriously.

The Real Leader

The real leader at the office is the one people listen to, trust, admire and respect. They may not be at the top of the company, but they take their job seriously. Leaders embody the core values of the company without pretension. Real leaders inspire others by showing enthusiasm for working together toward goals. They’re socially astute but don’t go overboard like the talkers or the office gossips. They keep their priorities in balance.

The Stable Performer

Maybe less exciting, the stable performer is also known as the average worker. They’re the bread and butter employee, the one employers can depend on to show up and perform well on a regular basis. They may not be real leaders, but they’re not lazy either.

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The Genius

Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey – the visionaries among us. The geniuses are the gods and goddesses of the professional realm. Many are entrepreneurs, some work inconspicuously from within the company. The genius has the big ideas and they typically need some extremely capable business partners to make those ideas reality.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

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