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The you at work and the you at home

Blair Mcpherson

Organisations want more people to behave at work the way they behave outside of work. Do you think you are different at work to how you are at home? Maybe the real you doesn’t come out at work or may be your conscious that at work you are playing a role that restricts how you might otherwise behave. Contributor Blair Mcpherson – former Local Authority Director author and blogger.

Student teacher found that when on teaching practise they behave the way they think teachers are expected to behave but on weekends they behave very differently. Unfortunately a lot of people not only behave differently at work they leave their creativity, curiosity, intuition and a host of transferable skills at home.

Maybe it’s the job, the way work is organised, their expectations of work or the way they are managed but some people are very different away from work. I have repeatedly found when helping people draft their CV that there is a lot more to most people than they show at work. This means organisations are missing out on a range of hidden talents, transferable skills and useful personality traits.

Like the rest of the world I watched in amazed admiration as people whose hobby is caving rescued a group of young people trapped deep in a flooded cave system in Thailand. It was not just the courage and skill of these volunteers it was their ability to solve problems under pressure, to think creatively, to work as a team and to persuade those scared young people to follow complex instructions and have complete trust in their rescuers.

Any organisation would find people with such skills and attributes an incredible resource if only they knew they had such individuals working for them.

The cave rescuers is an extreme example but more common placed activities outside of work demonstration that people have skills and experience that employers don’t know about and individuals don’t recognise as being of value or relevant to the work place. Anyone who coaches a football team or organises a fund raising event is demonstrating skills that would be useful in the work place.

The young mother who would not claim to have any IT skills or experience in communication is the same person who set up a social media network so other young mothers on the new housing estate could get/keep in touch with each other and share info. Having set up the online forum she edits it, monitors content and deals with inappropriate posts. And on the subject of parents with young children if both of you are working especially if your working shifts then some sophisticated forward planning and contingency arrangements will be in place!

Progressive organisations want employees to behave at work the way they do outside of work. They seek to tape into the energy, enthusiasm, creativity, stamina, initiative, passion, determination, dedication, adventure, curiosity, patience, compassion and organising skills that people so often display away from the work place. So perhaps that section on the job application headed hobbies and other interests is more important than many organisations and most candidates recognise.

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