Workplace Outsiders are the square pegs who can’t settle into the round holes of their job. They are the people who may try hard but never succeed or the people who look like they have worked it all out but inside are unhappy and unfulfilled. Take the assessment to see if you are an outsider at work.

“Self-Assessment: Are You a Workplace Outsider?

Take this quiz and find out if not knowing how to be unique at work might be holding you back from the career satisfaction you deserve.
Answer YES or NO as honestly as you can:

1. At lunchtime do you usually eat alone?
2. Do you work alone most of the time?
3. Are your ideas usually embraced by your co-workers and your boss?
4. Are you happy to model yourself after your boss?
5. Do you socialize with your colleagues on a regular basis?
6. Do you race to get home at the end of the day?
7. Do you often work late or on weekends?
8. Do you argue a lot with your colleagues, or want to?
9. Do you often receive negative comments about what you wear or how you look?
10. Do you prefer to spend at least five years in one job?
11. Does your boss understand and focus on your priorities?
12. Do you run your own business or work freelance?
13. Do you enjoy working in a large organization?
14. Do you believe strongly in your organization’s philosophy?
15. Do you work only for the paycheck?
16. Do you have a lot of fun at work?

Answer Key

Award yourself one point for YES answers to the following questions:

#’s 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15

Add your total score. Read the description below to see how much of an outsider — a square peg trying to fit into a round hole — you are in your workplace.

“Round Peg”

2 or less

Most of the time you fit in with your work environment. Occasionally you may feel uncomfortable at work, but usually you feel in sync with your co-workers.

“Round/Square Peg”

3 — 5

Sometimes you feel that you fit in at work and other times not. At times you feel uncomfortable among your co-workers because you sense that you’re not on the same wavelength.

“Square Peg”

6 — 8

Most of the time you feel that you don’t fit in at work. You feel alienated from and uncomfortable among your co-workers.

Interpreting Your Quiz Results

If you are a round peg, congratulations. You fit in well with your workplace environment. Fitting in is great, but it can also prevent you from reaching new heights in your career. Standing out, on the other hand, can be a great way to succeed. Throughout this book you’ll discover the advantages of standing out in a positive way.

If you are a square peg or a round/square peg, be assured that in the chapters to follow you will learn how to transition from being an unhappy outsider to a satisfied, successful one. Remember too, that you are perfect as you are. The objective is not to become more of a round peg, but to make your “square-peggedness” work for you.

Some of you may disagree with your quiz results. There are two possibilities.
First, the results could be inaccurate. Go with your own understanding of yourself, with how you feel. No quiz is infallible. The second possibility is that the results could be correct but you may not want to believe them. If this is the case, you will need to reflect on your response to the quiz results. What are the fears that come up for you? What makes you unable to accept yourself as a square peg?”

The good news is that you don’t need to settle for being an outsider. You can work on what makes you unique, accept your differences and then sell your originality. Read more about changing your life, making more money and loving your work at:

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from OUTSIDERS ON THE INSIDE © 2011 David Couper.

Published by Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and the USA with thousands of individuals and groups. He has successfully coached men and women wanting to change career or develop new opportunities at all levels - including CEOs of major companies wanting a creative challenge, frustrated souls longing to make their dream come true and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job. He specializes in helping people find their unique potential. He loves to transform misfits at work into successful misfits with their dream careers. David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television. David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA. He has dual US/UK citizenship.

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