A study by Johns Hopkins University business professor Sharon Kim concludes co-worker scorn can be a good thing if you're naturally an independent thinker who is very comfortable in his or her own skin:
"For people who already feel separate from the crowd, social rejection can be a form of validation," says Johns Hopkins Carey Business School assistant professor Sharon Kim, the study's lead author. "Rejection confirms for independent people what they already feel about themselves, that they're not like others. For such people, that distinction is a positive one leading them to greater creativity."However, the opposite is true for employees who desperately want to fit in with their co-workers but are rejected. In this case, there will be no additional creativity, only downright despair. Hugs.
Of course, some managers can be immediately suspicious of the employee who strives for individuality at work, likes a little bit of crow bar separation from his or her co-workers, and refuses to conform entirely. These managers might want the employee's skills and creativity; they just don't want the independent-mindedness that comes along with it. Kim thinks managers need to view these workers in a new light -- namely, that they make great employees. The independent-minded office reject "could see a successful career trajectory, in contrast with the person who is inhibited by social rejection," Kim says.
And if it doesn't work out, the stubbornly-independent office reject can always become a self-employed entrepreneur.