Why Become A Chameleon at Work? 10 Tips How it Can Benefit You

Texas Creative Work Chameleon
Carlene Calkins
Carlene Calkins
Billing Assistant

Being a chameleon in the workplace can be quite beneficial for you and your employer. For starters, really get to know your place of business and what makes it work. I’ve had six positions in the past 10 plus years within Texas Creative and have learned a lot in that time. Secondly, give of yourself. Put your best foot forward and in return you will be rewarded. A good work ethic speaks volumes and gets noticed. I’m pleased that my employer saw this in me and presented me with new opportunities and challenges along the way.

So, what is a chameleon? A definition according to Merriam Webster is:

a. person who often changes his or her beliefs or behavior in order to please others or to succeed

b. one that is subject to quick or frequent change, especially in appearance

What it takes to get there:

Don’t be hesitant or fear the unknown, set your sights on a goal and pursue it. Chances are you already have most of the knowledge you need to be successful. Here are what I consider to be 10 helpful tips in becoming that chameleon:

  1. Observe – always keep your eyes open and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask “How is this done?” or “Can you teach me?”
  2. Listen – take in all that you hear and process it. A suggestion from a co-worker could make your job easier. Also, what seems irrelevant at the moment could be very important and beneficial later on.
  3. Explore – research the unknown. If your job only requires you to use a portion of a program or software, step outside of the box and find out what the other portions can do.
  4. Learn – challenge yourself to learn new things on a continuing basis. Find success by taking that extra step and feeling accomplishment. But on the other hand, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have all of the answers.  Getting to know your co-workers roles within the company will help you to find where the answers lie. Learn from them as well.
  5. Volunteer – when you have a lull in your workday, ask your co-workers if you can help them out. They will benefit from your assistance, and you will benefit by implementing what you’ve learned from them.
  6. Be Flexible – don’t be so rigid in your work habits. Get rid of the mindset that “It isn’t in my job description.” Do something new and different. Adding or changing tasks to your workday is refreshing, especially if you always do the same type of work.
  7. Organize – this applies not only to your computer files but to your work area. Keeping your work organized makes you more efficient and productive. Keeping your area organized helps others locate what they may need during your absence. For more tips see How to Organize Yourself at Work.
  8. Be Positive – don’t give up before you’ve even begun. A “can-do” attitude sets the tone for the workplace. It makes you approachable and someone that others can rely on.
  9. Seize an Opportunity – when you see an opportunity for advancement, reach out for it. Let it be known that you’re interested. Don’t let an opportunity pass you by because you failed to communicate. Kicking yourself later because you missed out only harbors negativity. Needless to say, it may also decrease your productivity.
  10. Be Happy – find the best possible scenario in whatever you do.  Look at the glass as half full, not half empty. This allows you to forge ahead and take charge of anything that is thrown in your direction. I have the following signs in my office as a reminder: "Hello. Smile." and "Let Your Happy Shine." Check out 5 proven tips to be happier at work for more ways to maintain a positive attitude at work.

Go with the flow

It’s been a relatively simple journey because the more I’ve learned; the easier it’s been to make transitions. By putting these ten attributes to use, I didn’t take one chance, I took six. This chameleon can now slip in and just go with the flow wherever and whenever the need arises. You too can be that valuable chameleon in the workplace.

Is there a tip you’ve found to be especially beneficial in the workplace? If so, we’d love to hear what works for you in the comments!

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