Weird in a World That's Not

The Perks of Being Weird In the Workplace

Jun 08, 2017
Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

"For a long time," Jennifer Romolini writes, "I was pretty sure I would never make it in the world, that I would never become 'successful.'" The reason: she was just too weird, too sensitive, too far outside the realm of mainstream office culture.

But the former editor of HelloGiggles and Yahoo Shine did eventually succeed, and in her new book, Weird in a World That's Not, she offers several tips to help fellow misfits climb the corporate ladder.

If you're socially awkward, she writes, try over-preparing for even the most mundane workplace situations — rehearsing compliments for small talk with co-workers, for example, or writing scripts for major meetings.

Romolini also advises turning weirdness into an asset, as she did: when yoga became a fad in New York City, she drew upon her unusual new-age upbringing to corner the beat as a freelancer, which soon landed her a full-time job. "If you are a card-carrying weirdo," she writes, "[it's] not a detriment, it's an asset."

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.
TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.