Try not to fit it. At least not all the time. Don’t act a certain way because you think you have to. It’s not okay to become someone else just to fit in.
A few years ago, I witnessed a young team manager alienate her whole team. She was ~25, fresh out of an engineering school. As soon as she joined, she acted as a mindless corporate drone. She seemed to think that giving orders to her teammates and being bossy was the way to go. She was in charge, and people needed to follow along. Needless to say, that story didn’t end well. Especially considering that some of her teammates had 30+ years of experience… She tried to correspond to the vision she had of her role, and that was a huge mistake. She was actually a likable person who made a silly mistake.
In practice though, there were real expectations. She had to prove herself to her own bosses, like other newly appointed team leaders/project managers. Higher-level management expected results and told her so… Company culture and certain managers push people to fit into a certain mold. Some people do and are happy to. But most are easy to replace, as Tim Denning argued recently
For most of my career, I’ve tried to remain true to myself: serious, reliable, but simple and kind. Of course, I had to adapt from to time; that’s okay. But I have clear limits. I know who I am, and what my values are.
That’s why I became the first team manager wearing a hoodie at my organization a few years back. People expected me to start wearing ties and costumes, but I almost never did… apart during the last days before leaving to become a freelancer because I thought it would be fun 😂
I even appeared on the organization’s journal wearing my hoodie (can you guess who’s the boss on that picture? 😂):