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Express Your Personal Style in Your Workplace

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Personal style emerges from our collective experience. It requires both reality and fantasy, and critically the courage to be engaged not as in fitting in, but engaged in the work with sufficient mastery to create the conditions to combine planning with the unexpected. This way lies originality, creativity and quality work.

Claudia Chan Shaw made the point that a person dressed head to foot in couture can end up looking like a Christmas tree. Slavishly following someone else’s idea of fashion does not create personal style. Ultimately, it is a mere preoccupation to be unoriginal by following the crowd.

I think increasingly work demands and rewards personal style. If we want autonomy at work, we can simply automate it. The mastery of the key tools in your work, and the ability thoroughly to understand what you are confronting at work, permits some looseness and serendipity, that elevates the mundane into the masterful with style.

Dr Jim Bright FAPS owns career management consultancy Bright and Associates and is director of research and impact at edtech start-up BECOME Education. Email opinion@jimbright.com. Follow him on X/Twitter @DrJimBright.

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