Tuesday, January 28, 2014

6 Types of People in the Workplace

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
― Ellen Goodman

I haven't worked at many places, but through my experience and from some of the discussions my husband and I have there is a workplace dynamic that encompasses each person's motivation, habits, and personality. I decided to sit down and put pen to paper and came up with 6 workplace personalities. 

  1. The 30 Minute Worker: This person comes in early, doesn't really do much work during work hours aside from 30 mins here and there, and leaves later than everyone else to make the impression that they are hard at work. This person usually takes a lot of breaks to smoke, socialize, or grab a refreshment. They're lazy, often call for redundant meetings, and are always irritated if lunch will be late. It's a Snicker's commercial if you make this guy delay his lunch break. This guy believes in "fake it till you make it". Remember; there are no shortcuts to success. 
  2. The 9-5'er: This person generally gives 0 fucks on any given day. They're there to get their tasks done, collect their paycheck and go home to their personal life. They're usually social butterflies and have no real ambition to move up. This person doesn't care to meet any new goals other than getting to Friday. He/she usually uses up all sick/personal/vacation days before the year end. They work hard enough to get by but generally don't go above and beyond for the company. They might often make mistakes, and be seen as unreliable. Got something you need her to check out on Friday night before something gets deployed in the system? Sorry, she left her work laptop at the office, or is unreachable, and won't respond to your emails.  
  3. The Avoider: This is a person who really works hard, a workaholic if you may, but he/she isn't motivated by what chances there may be to move up the corporate ladder. This person is always plugged in and almost always willing to do your share of work. They stay late and work. Work is the scapegoat for something this person is avoiding. This is the person who volunteers to stay late despite having a family at home, and doesn't have a problem with the  projects piling up as long as you leave him/her to the peace and quiet of their cubicle to do their work. People like this usually have high stress environments at home or in their personal life and avoid all conflicts. They rather do the work for you instead of train you. 
  4. The Misguided Dreamer: this person is trying to find their way in the corporate world. They keep going back to school in hopes of "making it big time", driven not by ambition but by $ cash money $! The American dream has never been more out of reach to this person as they spend all their efforts and money furthering their education, and sinking into debt, rather than applying that education in the real world and standing apart from their peers. This person's certifications is impressive on paper but the lack of  well-rounded experience is apparent. This is a double edged sword. You need the piece of paper to get your foot in the door but it will only take you so far. Higher education is great, don't get me wrong, but why are you pursing it? To be an expert in your field or because it will take you to the next level, qualifying you for the next tax bracket?
  5. The Know it All: this individual can't effectively communicate with others without being annoying and acts aggressively superior. This person is the snitch when shit hits the fan, the person who is quick to point fingers when things go wrong, and feels that their ideas and beliefs are the only way, you cannot persuade this person to think outside of the box. They insist they're way of tackling a hard and newer project is the best way. They don't like learning newer technologies and resist change in the work environment. If it ain't broke why fix it? They genuinely want to be friends with their co-workers, but they can't help themselves from acting bossy. This person is motivated by power. 
  6. The Alpha: This is the ideal employee every company wants to have. They're fresh with innovative ideas all the time, a gem to work with, reliable, meets all deadlines or finishes work ahead of time. They're not afraid to assert themselves or speak up. They find themselves involved in majority of projects, and lead all discussions in meetings. This wizard is usually the go-to person to fix something when you don't want your boss to know you screwed something up. Everyone secretly envies this person's tenacity and leadership skills, and some will be stupid enough to try to discredit this person's work. The alpha is the alpha because he or she thoroughly finds passion in what he/she does, they genuinely care to raise company quotas, to earn recognition for hard work, and to recreate themselves in each days challenges. More importantly it's never been about the money, it's about personal growth and ambition. In this role, your contribution to your team will not be undervalued if you are not the leader, you still give your best in the roles you take, and hold yourself accountable for problems that may arise. 
What can we learn from this?  What's your motive? 

It truly doesn't matter which person you are in this typology, or if you fit the bill at all. Question your position and ask yourself what am I working for, other than the obvious reasons like to put food on the table. Are you happy or are you comfortable? You can't be the 30 min'er or the 9-5'er wondering why you're getting passed up for managerial positions. Likewise you can't be pursing a lifestyle that your efforts and talents don't match up to, but of course proceed anyway. We're just part of an "entitled" generation and I get it, but how's that working for you? Check this widely used test out and see what your personality type is: Jung-Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

In depth description and careers that fit your assessment can be found here: Type Descriptions and Careers