Why “Being Professional” Is Actually Holding You Back

Tim Casasola
Feb 13, 2016 · 5 min read
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Thanks to WP Cave (and to the one of the greatest shows ever).

“Whoa, you’re a breakdancer?!”

At every job interview I’ve ever had, I’m always asked this question. Every. Damn. Time. It’s all the recruiter wants to talk about after noticing I was part of a breakdance club in college (on the bottom of my resume).

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The Costs of Faking Your Personality

We all have felt uncomfortable revealing certain parts of ourselves. It’s human nature to shape our behavior to conform to a situation, or new culture. Sometimes we need to act more extraverted than we are (such as at a huge conference or a meeting with a potential investor). But here’s the thing:

Faking Conscientiousness

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Encouraging Wholeness

Frédéric Laloux in Reinventing Organizations introduces the concept of wholeness:

“Every time we leave a part of us behind, we cut ourselves off from part of our potential, of our creative and energy. No wonder many workplaces feel somehow lifeless. In wholeness we are life-full… Work becomes a vehicle where we help each other reveal our inner greatness and manifest our calling.”

We should be able to be our whole selves at work, because work allows us to reach our potential and find meaning in life. This should be a no brainer, but our organizations today are actively and systematically preventing us from being ourselves. And this only hurts the org, as Laloux puts it:

“…Our community will be richest if we let all members contribute in their distinctive way, appreciating the differences in roles, education, backgrounds, interests, skills, characters, points of view, and so on.”

We must encourage wholeness at work. And this goes beyond the annual holiday parties, the happy hour outings, and the ping pong tables.


The Ready

Lessons from our quest to change how the world works.

Tim Casasola

Written by

Product & organization design. Product strategy at Sanctuary Computer. Writing now at timcasasola.com

The Ready

The Ready

Lessons from our quest to change how the world works. Topics include org design, self-organization, and dynamic teaming.

Tim Casasola

Written by

Product & organization design. Product strategy at Sanctuary Computer. Writing now at timcasasola.com

The Ready

The Ready

Lessons from our quest to change how the world works. Topics include org design, self-organization, and dynamic teaming.

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