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Be Yourself at Work

Be Yourself at Work

Sharlyn Lauby | HR Bartender

When I worked in Corporate America, summertime meant a few things. Company picnics was one and manager outings was another. Both of them usually involved a discussion about serving alcoholic beverages. The decision to serve alcohol was based upon three things:

1. Whether or not we had the budget for it
2. Senior leaderships views on drinking
3. If someone had done something stupid at the last event

Most of the time, employees were responsible and serving alcohol was not an issue. In fact, I once worked for a theme park that was owned by a beer distributor…as you can imagine, not serving the product was really not an option. But non-alcoholic beverages were available for those who didn’t drink.

I learned a very valuable lesson working for that company.

I used to go to every event and grab a beer because I thought it was important to show people I was a cool kid. There was only one little problem. I didn’t like beer. At all. So I would walk around with this beer in my hand and pretend to be enjoying it.

I was faking it. Tricking people. I didn’t have the confidence to just be me.

Then I realized I was only hurting myself. If I didn’t have the guts to say, “I’m not drinking” then how was I going to handle the co-worker who was stealing from the company? Or the executive who was harassing employees?

It made me realize a few things:

  • Be yourself. If you want a drink, OK. If you don’t, that’s fine too.

  • Don’t hide behind a smoke screen. The more you hide, the easier it is to create additional smoke screens for yourself. Eventually, you tend to lose yourself.

  • If you feel the only way you will be accepted by the cool kids circle is to do something you don’t want to do, get some help. That might be a book, audiotape, workshop or some kind of coaching.
  • Just whatever you decide, do what’s best for you. And always be responsible.