Office Rebel: Benefits of Coloring Outside of the Lines

Each year, some employees do their best to stay focused by following the office rules and political climate succinctly. While this is a way to play it safe, it often yields the same results: a “check the box mentality” of task management. Yet, have you ever wondered what life is like on the other side of the canonical practice at work? Sometimes, it takes breaking down the fourth wall by “coloring outside of the lines” by moving beyond outdated processes so you can achieve great things.

Welcome to the wild side where office rebels deliver great things daily due to their initiative and innovation. For example, an office rebel will research the historical context of a task, determine the lessons learned then implement new processes to yield better results in a timely manner. This type of industrious behavior comes from living on the fringe as well as knowing how to bend new technology to one’s whim.

Moreover, innovation in the federal space is not confined to a desk for eight hours or more daily. It includes learning from others, networking with thought leaders and trying new things in the pursuit of agency goals. Basically, the ability to innovate does not occur via email. Creative collaborators get out from behind their desk, create a plan and then become a catalyst for positive change.

Also, when an employee continues to approach work in the same manner using outdated rules, their ability to grow and learn new skills becomes limited. Back in the day, some people referred to going above the minimum requirements as “going outside the 9 dots.” When was the last time you achieved more than just the basic goals? Have you ever wanted to do more? An office-rebel-in-training understands the benefits of being an “individual contributor” by creating and innovating off the clock to yield extraordinary results at the office.

Tracey Batacan is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Tracey Batacan

I concur Catherine. I agree with the “never say but” attitude because it halts progress. Also, coloring outside the lines allows for creativity at work and more enjoyment in your daily routine.

Rachel Niebeling

Tracey, I really like this post. It gives direction to rebels in training as to how to start on a path. Nice one!