Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream job after acing the endless round of interviews with supervisors, direct colleagues and Larry from maintenance. You’ve thoroughly researched the company and its culture and are sure that you are the perfect fit. You arrive on your first day, ready to kill it, crush it or at least beat it into submission. But a word of caution, objects in mirror are closer than they appear, or in other words, your real work environment probably differs significantly from your interview experience. Here are 7 tips from an unusual source on how you can fit in without missing a beat.
1. Get your story straight– In the movie-“The Wedding Crashers”- the characters portrayed by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, basically lied and created alter-egos and an entire back-story to get into the various weddings they crashed. This is a no-go for you at the workplace as apart from the obvious integrity question, these people have your social security number and know where you live! Your game plan is to be authentic. This means that you are clear on what your values and strengths are as well as how your goals and company goals are in alignment. You communicate these clearly while constantly doing your best to serve in the organisation.
2. Act as if you belong– You may be the newbie but you don’t have to be green or ask anyone’s permission to be there. Insecurity only draws attention to you in a negative way. Instead, be very confident, so confident that people ask: “Who IS that?” In the movie, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn often claimed to be the off-spring of some far removed cousin and usually only had to tell their back-story once. Other people believed them and introduced them around. Similarly, if you get step 1 right and present yourself authentically you will have instant credibility and find it easier to connect with the people you want to.
3. Be charismatic– Have such a fascinating way about you that people cannot forget you. Both of the characters in “The Wedding Crashers” were extroverts and often we think that only extroverts can be charismatic. Luckily this is not the case. In her best-selling book, ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts “, Susan Cain shows that most leaders are natural introverts. Dan Pink, author of “Drive” talks of a whole new type, the ambivert which is basically someone who can switch between the introvert and extrovert personality types to adapt to social situations as needed. Sally Hogshead in her book “Fascinate” gets away from the entire introvert/ extrovert/ ambivert classifications and goes deeper into our fascination styles and how we can leverage them to fascinate others. The point is charisma is available in all flavors, so find yours and work it.
4. Be noticeable– In the movie, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s characters made sure that everyone at the wedding saw them. Either they’re up on stage with the band singing or they’re smashing cake into the faces of the bride and groom by the cake cutting. When the married couple gets their wedding photos they will probably see those two guys in every single photo. You can do this too without being pushy. Find your own style of communication and presentation and use it in a way that gets you noticed but not fired.
5. Have some extra skills in your treasure chest– Vince Vaughn’s character in the movie, was an excellent dancer which comes in handy at weddings. Similarly in the office , it helps to have some super skills that make you stand out. Surprise people by doing things that are not in your job description or by letting them in on your weekend hobby. And no I’m not talking about your embarrassing selfie on instagram. Maybe you’re a bartender or a closet juggler whatever, it shows who you really are and what excites you and that engages other people.
6. Be a good conversationalist– The Wedding Crashers were able to talk their way into and out of any situation. While they were frauds they did genuinely love people. That’s your starting point. If you are really interested in people you will be able to have great conversations. The key is actually not to be a great talker but to be a fantastic listener who asks the right questions and remembers the right information.
7. Play full out– Commit 100% to what you are doing, saying, wearing, sharing. You have to forget about looking silly, making mistakes or failing in general. Owen Wilson’s and Vince Vaughn’s characters were totally convincing in their presentation because they became their own creations. Sometimes like them you will be faking it to some extent, but if you own it, it will become your reality.
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