Q. I love my job. But sometimes it requires me to take on personas – I mean change to another form to really execute it. I am not a very outgoing person but my job requires me to be so.
While this is not a problem, I am worried about losing my actual self in trying to fit into my job. Where do I draw the line?
It seems the case not only at the workplace but generally in life that in order to effectively carry out a role, the holder is required to adopt a fitting disposition.
Although it is important that there is a match between the requirements of a role and the holder’s nature, interests and ability, it is rare to find a role whose every dimension perfectly fits the preferences of its holder.
In your case, the disposition required of your role appears to place a tax on your introverted personality.
The acknowledgement that you are positively inclined to your job suggests that the answer to your dilemma may not be in changing jobs but rather in learning how to live better with the requirement to behave in an outgoing manner.
You probably know comedians whose stage personas differ remarkably from their off-stage nature or politicians who are vocal in public and reticent in private.
Aware of what is required of them to succeed, they have learnt to give Caesar what belongs to him.
Purposely and appropriately adjusting behaviour in different settings will not undermine your authenticity or personality. There is persona and there is personality.
Do you consider behaving in an outgoing manner an affordable sacrifice in light of the satisfaction you derive from your job and the contribution you make through it?
Have you raised the matter with HR or your line manager to explore whether there are changes that could be made to accommodate your concern?
Have you considered how you might benefit from your bane? How might you use your job persona to establish useful connections and enhance the quality of interactions with stakeholders in the interest of your career?
Consider that your job is a role and not the entirety of your life; do what needs to be done on stage and indulge your introverted instincts once your part is done, akin to a singer who brings one voice to a conversation and another to a song.