Anonymous at Work: When You Don't Want to Stand Out

Why do some employees prefer to work hard and keep their head down?


Over at Chris Brogan’s blog today, I wrote a guest post on how you can avoid being anonymous at work. There are 10 things in my list, but I am sure there could be lots more.

This is an issue that divides. Some want to be anonymous at work, preferring to keep their heads down while they do good work and contribute as members of the team.

Others don’t. They want to be the best they can be--and they seek recognition, either from others or from their own internal self.

I am sure there are all sorts of studies that purport to tell each of us which kind of employees we are, or need, or support. I am interested in what might cause such different dispositions.

Is it genetics? Upbringing? Education? Motivation? Any ideas?

Obviously, there is no exact right or wrong way to be. Companies can do quite well armed with both kinds of employees. And, people are different--no question.

But my working premise has been that most people prefer NOT to be so anonymous. At least, they started their working life that way. But something along the way told them “that” was not the way to be.

Do you agree? What happened?

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at or at


You Might Also Like