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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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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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