Yesterday, the wifey and I headed to Blue Bottle Coffee at Rockefeller Centre to grab a cup of Kenya drip coffee.
As we waited for our coffee, we started watching a geeky-looking Asian barista behind the counter. She wore thick black glasses, had tousled hair, and looked like a nice, polite engineering student doing a summer job.
And then the song “Monster” by Kanye West came on.
If you haven’t heard it, it’s one of those badass, chest-thumping songs that gets you pumped up. You know – the kind of song you’d blast while getting ready to go out and party. Adele loves it enough to memorise the lyrics.
Well, this geeky-looking barista got really into it. She started bouncing to the beat as she made her coffee. When the Nikki Minaj segment came on, our barista lip-synced along flawlessly. She even busted out a couple of awesome hand gestures.
As my wife and I watched her, we thought: Wow – THIS is someone with an inner badass. We gave her a huge tip.
What if we could follow her example in our regular jobs?
Think about it – we spend 8 to 12 hours a day at our jobs. And sometimes, the norms from these jobs influence our personalities. For example, we might be hilarious and cheerful around our friends, but once we step into the office, we send emails like this:
“Thank you for your email. Well-noted that you will revert soon. Best Regards.”
Contrast this with the people who let their personalities shine through in their jobs:
- The accountant who tells stories during her weekly updates
- The engineer who organizes lunchtime yoga sessions
- The civil servant who notices you’re stressed and draws this picture for you
Being a “badass” doesn’t have to mean spittin’ out gangsta rhymes. It means having the courage to express a silver of your personality wherever you are.
Singaporeans are terrified of this. We’re scared that our colleagues will laugh at us. We’re scared that our bosses will judge us for not being serious. We’re scared that our companies will “mark us down”.
But who’s more likely to be remembered – the colleague who gave a “standard” status update, or Mark from Accounting who used an Angry Birds analogy to describe the company’s challenges?
Memorable people stand out. Memorable people get more attention, more opportunities, and more money.
So as you make your way to work tomorrow morning, think about your inner badass. And figure out how you can let it shine through.