Why is being your authentic self at work an important part of company culture? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Cynthia Billops, IT veteran, on Quora:

Authenticity is important because it is a compilation of all the things that make you desirable. Company culture aside, the fact of the matter is that you were hired by someone who thought something (or many things) about you would add to their organization in a way that would help it continue and, hopefully, grow stronger. Deciding to leave a part of that package at home isn't just unfair to yourself and your self-image/confidence/self-esteem - it's also undercutting the impulse that led to you being employed in the first place.

Now, arguably, you could have "cheated" during the hiring process, acted more (or less) something or other in order to "fit in" but if that's the case, then you already have a tough road ahead of you trying to maintain that facade while also ramping up on and succeeding with the role you've been given. Culture is not a static, unchanging thing. It is a sum of its component parts amplified through a company/national/team brand - no one part tends to stand on its own but it is also greater than the individuals in it. you showing up as the most confident, secure, resilient version of yourself (which is how I define "authentic") allows you to effortlessly add to this miasma and to put your particular ways of being into the mix.

This allows you to feel more comfortable on a day-to-day basis (because it's one less thing to worry about); allows others who might share and/or admire your way of being to also feel like the prevailing culture includes/welcomes them and ultimately results in a more fluid and flexible environment where it's o.k. to try things, stretch a little, "fail forward" and/or just help mitigate a little general worry so that there's more room to sort through things that require more/extra brain resources.

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