A woman sitting in a chair using a laptop that is covered in inspirational stickers.

I’ve always wanted to live life on my own terms. Not that I’m a societal rebel, but what makes me happy is not always as cookie-cutter as my neighbors. I want the thriving career, but not the staleness of corporate America. I want the marriage and kids, but not right now, and without the white picket fence. I’ve gained maturity in my 30’s, but I still party like I’m in my 20’s when I feel like it.  Society is filled with too much pressure and unspoken rules that I don’t feel compelled to comply with. No place makes me feel that pressure more than the workplace. The inability to relate to my coworkers lives sometimes feels like it may prevent my career growth. But I’ve learned that we don’t have to care so much about society’s rules. You don’t have to conform or disguise yourself to be successful at work.

Sure, my work speaks volumes for itself, but we know promotions are not always solely based on that. Personal connections matter most in life, and especially when playing office politics. Those dreaded small talk conversations that can then lead to friendships are essential. And sometimes I feel at a loss when I can’t join in on shared stories about annoying husbands. But where we lack in similarities, we can make up for in personality and talent. Our best assets that allow us to be successful at our jobs actually lie within our differences from our coworkers. Instead of following the crowd, we can use our abilities to separate ourselves and live freely to be successful at work.


I’ve learned the hard way that personal happiness is the key to life. So because of that I make sure I don’t settle for less. An average lifestyle has never been appealing to me. I want to receive the most that life has to offer, and leave a remarkable imprint when I’m gone. I tackle my job with this same energy. With any task or assignment at hand, I want to make sure it’s done in the best possible way.  And that it achieves the best possible results. Whether this means finding an improved way to get the project done, or giving it my absolute all before submitting it. These are the qualities that make you stand out and be successful at work. So take pride in the fact that you don’t settle for average.  This tenacity will shine through in all areas of your life, including at work.


Not being able to be confined to a box has actually given me skills to excel in life. With each new situation I encounter, I’m always trying to figure out a way to make it fit for me. This means that I have to be consistently learning about myself, and also adapting to new experiences. I’m not content with just accepting new conditions, so this leads me to a think creatively in order for both sides to benefit. This ever-evolving self-process allows me to be successful at work as well.  Being able to easily adapt to new or challenging situations is always a great quality to have in the workplace. A good temperament, ability to think under pressure, and change with the times is necessary to be a success.  So your non-conforming nature plays well when it’s time to step up and shine as a leader.


Because I see the world with a different lens, I always have a unique perspective to contribute. I know there is always more out there, and new ways to think about things. Furthermore, I don’t stop until I fully explore this intuition. For example, I dream of getting married and having a wedding someday. But using that money to travel the world for year might lead to a happier life and marriage. If not, we’ve had the experience and can still plan for a wedding later.  This way of thinking allows me to be a star and successful at work. Fresh, out-of-the-box ideas are what makes campaigns and businesses the most successful and stand the test of time. Breaking the mold is always a good idea. Being able to conjure up unique ideas and methods makes you an asset to any team.


When you’re so different than those immediately around you, it can be hard to maintain self-confidence. I have to constantly and consciously remind myself that I’m talented and great at what I do, no matter what. I’m proud of the woman I’ve become, and proud of all that I’ve accomplished. Learning to embrace what makes you different is the way to be the most successful at work. If you exude self-confidence, your coworkers and those around you will admire what makes you different than the rest. People appreciate those who are unapologetically themselves because deep down we all yearn to be accepted for who we truly are. The most successful people are so confident in their abilities, that it makes everyone else a believer as well. You know you’ve got what it takes to succeed without following the typical paths, so use your gifts and bloom.



If your coworkers bring a hot dish to the company potluck dinner, and you bring a bottle of champagne, that’s ok. You’re not a homemaker and you’d rather get everyone sloshed, but you’re still fantastic at your job. And no one can take that away from you. Your atypical way of living allows you to think outside of the box, and bring a fresh perspective. You can adapt and excel in any situation thrown at you. And you confidently embrace that your differences are what make you successful at work, and everything else. You don’t have to fit in when you’re a standout.


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