Take Yourself to Work Day

Most of you have probably heard of the “Take Your Daughter or Son to Work Days,” it is a noble program aimed at introducing our next generation to the workplace.   There are numerous benefits to both the parents and their children around participating in this program but I wanted to share another concept.

I am calling it “Take Yourself to Work Day.”  You are probably thinking that sounds a little stupid.  “How can you not take yourself to work?”, you say and that is exactly the question I have for you.

How can you not take yourself to work?

I can only say I see it every day.  Wonderful people leaving their spirit at the door, scared and frightened to show up with all their glory in the workplace.

This is a cunning concept.  You might raise issues of keeping your personal and professional life separate or that you are different than your coworkers.  Maybe they just wouldn’t understand.  I think this is one of the biggest tragedies of our time but their has been a shift.  Facebook and Twitter have opened up a can of worms and “Our Worlds are Colliding.”

Our personal and professional lives have become blurred and that is a great thing.

I have a question for you.  Is there really any place you can go that is not personal?  If you are a person then everywhere you go it is personal.  I am not saying that work does not have its customs and rules but checking your spirit at the door is doing no one any good.

A few years ago I came to the conclusion that there was no guarantee in life that I would be able to create a personal utopia with the perfect job with the perfect people.  A place where I would be able to be myself and live out my unique calling in life.  What is interesting is when I came to this realization it actually opened up the floodgates of this becoming a reality.

Because I realized their was never going to be a magical day to start being myself and sharing my unique gifts I decided I better start right away.  When I came to this conclusion I decided to completely integrate my spirit, dreams and talents at work and in all circles of my life.

You might be thinking you could never share your true passions with co-workers but I am telling you there is “Gold in Them There Fields.”  There is a treasure for those who decide to share themselves fully.  You will be surprised should you decide to “Take Yourself to Work” that others have the same dreams, goals and passions as you do.  Everyone is looking for that one hero who might inspire them to live their dreams.  You can be that person.

A big mantra in todays society is being transparent.  I think transparency is a great concept but being transparent is only part of the equation of “Taking Yourself to Work,”  connecting and engaging is where you start to gain energy.  Notice, I said “Gain Energy,” most people would think the opposite might happen or a loss of energy.  Sharing yourself is like kindling for your dreams.  It is a spark.  When others become aware of your true desires they become a resource or “source” for new energy.  They provide encouragement and ideas and referrals.

I started this journey for myself by joining a Toastmasters group to develop my public speaking skills.  A number of co-workers were aware of my new hobby since I was not able to join them for lunch periodically when I had Toastmasters meetings.  I shared with them I was developing my speaking skills in pursuit of my dream of being a keynote speaker.  Within a month of sharing this dream with my coworker he approached me with an opportunity to present to an industry group in another city.

I must say I was a bit frightened my dream was showing up so fast.  I spoke to 50 people in another city and I was on my way.

Other opportunities started to show up as well.  Our company was growing fast and the frequency of company meetings grew.  The owner of my company was aware of my public speaking goals and often came to me to develop the agenda and run our company meetings.  Another opportunity to live out my dream.  I have numerous other examples of public speaking opportunities that have arisen as well as other areas of interest but they all have a common thread of taking the risk of being myself.

Some ideas for how you can “Take Yourself to Work.”

  • Host a book club related to one of your passions.
  • Ask a coworker to lunch and get to know them.
  • Display examples of your passion in your office or cubicle.
  • Express your opinion on a controversial subject.
  • Host a happy hour or potluck lunch.
  • Create a company social media community on Facebook (if your employer permits).
  • Create an employee newsletter highlighting personal interests.
  • Be yourself.
  • Remember everything you do is Personal (no separation o state when it comes to you)

I look forward to meeting “You” at work someday!

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