Fitting In When You’re As Different As Aquaman
Your workplace is like Atlantis. If you want to be accepted get out of your bubble.
Feel awkward as a one of a kinder at work? Imagine finding out you’re half sea creature, half human! Bet Aquaman got filleted by colleagues after outing his gills.
Your own way of being different – be it race, ethnicity, gender, disability, wardrobe or looks – sets you apart. Not as much as fins would mind you. Still, it can seem like you’re a fish out of water.
If anxious to fit in better, stop swimming against the tide. Learn to adopt norms that can help you feel more accepted.
Pick Up On Workplace Waves
Ever see a large school of fishies swirl in unison? Many offices are whirlpools of conformity. The signals may be subtle, such as informal dress codes. Or the use of weird terminology exclusive to that employer.
Other hints are blatant but less so than razor-toothed Trench monsters in Aquaman’s face. Watch for who gets precious promotions and raises. What are they doing and how do they come across? Try to get chummy (ar ar) with one or two and have them share their secrets.
Staying in your shell is for snails. If you want to fit in you’ll have to surface more often. And do as others do.
Professionally here’s some suggested bait:
• Don’t make waves. Follow directions well and defer to leaders.
• Stop being a leech. Offer to work extra hours assisting your department when it needs an extra hand. Or tentacle.
• Kiss up strategically to the boss (avoid blowing bubbles up their back fins).
• Dress in accordance with company customs.
• Clam up. Turn your carping into positive changes.
• Volunteer to join or head up committees that plan after-work events, run charitable drives, unite the seven submerged kingdoms, etc.
• Hook invites and shows up for more daytime nibblings and off-hours outings with coworkers.
• Spread a wider net. Introduce yourself to other people and make small talk with big fish too.
Remember that at first Aquaman, whose human name’s Arthur, is cast off by the Atlanteans for being a half-breed. Your hurdles are lower than his (its?).
Accept Your Fate
Ultimately Arthur chooses to fit in. He pals around with marine life fetches his magic Trident at great peril and assumes the throne over sub-oceanic earth. With his coy new queen
Mera at his side, naturally.
You’ll need to make peace with your inner rivals. Yeah, you want to be an individual, proud of what makes you unique. Not ashamed of who or what you are. But at the same time wishing to be accepted by blending in more, like a shape-shifting Mimic Octopus (it’s real).
Thankfully you’re not a cold-blooded vertebrate plying the briny depths. You can figure out how to be more likeable, even if it means concealing or changing some aspects of yourself. Just don’t sell your soul for the job. Catfish too much and you won’t have a leg to stand on.