Has never been my strong suit! So, I started my own company, and I actually got to ask people who I really liked and knew, people who are hard workers, to join me on this journey.
In my experience, when you get hired by a company, you have to meet all of the people in the office, they decide if they like you or not, and then you all play nice (or not) and get to be in office-hell together.
Office hell is when your co-workers are not authentic with you. Many people feel quite threatened when a new person comes in, and having experienced this first-hand, I want to tell the brave souls out there to face it straight on, and call a spade a spade.
Why? Bravery and honesty can be amazingly well received, and can also be received with fear. So why stand your ground? Why not just flatter your boss all the time, tell him/her that every decision they make is a good one? Why not? If you do that, and you are not being honest, you are not engaged in your job, and you don’t really care about the outcome of your work. You ‘disengage’ yourself from your environment and the results and goals of your work. The insincere you becomes a role to play, and I must say, playing a role is nothing to be proud of.
I have seen this fear in some of the smartest people I have worked for. There are some great exceptions, though! Kevin Cohen, my boss at Turner was not scared, he was himself, and as an extremely modern, well-educated family man with a smart, independent wife, he was and is a person I admire. Jim Kitchell too, from Turner also, who won an Emmy Award for engineering the first live interstellar broadcast – remember that one? Man walking on the moon? I’ve worked for some brilliant people. The difference between the brave boss and the coward boss is remarkable – the brave boss asks you questions, but teaches constantly, and is proud and loud when you do well. The coward cuts you down, takes credit for your good work, is dishonest about your contributions, and then loses you. Forever.
As far as co-workers go, they are just that – a co-worker. Some will be great, some will stink. If you find you don’t like faking who you are, and don’t enjoy pretending to like the co-worker that steals your work when you are out of the office, I recommend being very brave – very brave – and go to work for yourself. Working for yourself is hard work, don’t get me wrong, but its not hell….it’s heaven.