We know the clothes make the man, but what does your cubicle style transmit about you to the team?
Think it through before you put that Sarah Palin bobble-head on top of your computer. Make sure the message is the one you intend to give.
Meryl Rosenthal of the human resources organization Hirepower, which partners with Workopolis to offer Resume Rescue (help on crafting that important job-seeking tool) is a firm believer in making the effort to personalize your office space. She says family pictures, kids’ art, knick-knacks that are meaningful to you all offer a sense of who you are and your life outside the workplace. She has only one caution: make absolutely sure you are seen as being professional. Take a look around to determine the general culture of the place and stay within those boundaries.
We would advise, in addition, that the message delivers your meaning. Here’s our take on characters in the office:
Den mother – This is the man or woman who always has a bowl of candy or box of cookies on their desk. This creature likes to be liked and has no qualms about using food as bait. Probably a good person to have on your team, so long as he or she always feels valued.
Class clown – Bobble-heads, funny pictures, twisted sayings (SS, DD springs to mind) are his basic tools. Also loves to be loved but is more cynical about the workplace. His life is outside these walls and he’s not afraid to say so.
Geek freak - There are loads of indicators of this one, including that “let’s use this computer after hours to detect aliens in outer space” rather than a screensaver, and lots of action figures that you probably don’t recognize.
Keener – There is no personal stuff around, save maybe a photo of a spouse or family. And, the desk is spotless with no piles of files dating to … who knows.
Super-keener – The stuff stuck on the cubicle walls are spreadsheets, forecasts, and maybe a mantra or two.
Creative genius – The place is a mess but amazing ideas come forth. Sometimes. Such symbols of disorganization leads keeners to suspect a disordered mind. Never be late for meetings if you’re this character, or you’re cooked.
Agree? Disagree? Did we miss someone out? Let us know!