Just Be, Man…

Posted on June 9, 2010. Filed under: Books, Business, Career, Field Guides, Life, Network, Pocket-Books, Recruitment, Self-Help, Social Skills |

Ever dated someone who pulled the wool over your eyes?  You fall head-over-heels only to be sent over the edge but a revelation of their true nature?  You probably didn’t like or even appreciate the experience.  What’s true in love is true in business: a fake is a fake, and no one likes being played for a fool.

Recently, I observed a career workshop in Chicago hosted by representatives of the Career Development Center at the University of Southern California.  The evening was designed to allow the alumni participants the opportunity to get their most perplexing job-seeking questions answered by some of the top human resource executives from Chicago’s leading corporations including McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Zurich Insurance, and Ernst & Young. I think the best description of the night might be speed-dating for the business professional.

Rather than detail the evening’s agenda, let me jump to the essence of it: be yourself.  Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was that every representative, without fail, mentioned his or her desire to have job applicants present their true selves rather than resort to a performance of the person that they think the firm wants to hire.  This is important stuff.

As I mention in my book, The Networking Field Guide®: Essential Social Skills for Business, when we are ourselves, we will always be 100%.

“The way you see the world, the way you feel about what you see,
and the way you react to that world is unique to you and you alone.
Your strengths are many and your weaknesses not nearly as dire as
you might want to believe.”      [See pp. 24 & 25 in the pocket-book.]

Imitation of any kind reduces us to less than 100% of ourselves and short-changes everyone.  Better to be yourself and let people get to know the real you; the person that he or she will be working next to, collaborating with on projects, and counting on to get the job done.  While you may not be perfect, you will be authentic.

When we present a false image of ourselves, the charade only lasts so long.  One day, in the not-so-distant future, the façade slips away and our true self is revealed.  Co-workers who thought they knew you are surprised or can become angry at the discovery.  Especially, in the workplace, to learn that the person that he or she thought they knew is nothing but charlatan can have ramifications much more damaging than a dating disappointment.  Such a deliberate deception can be detrimental to your job and ultimately to your career.  Like gum on your shoe during a hot summer day, it tends to stick with you and ruin your reputation.

I urge you to be willing to risk being yourself with the knowledge that there will be an employer who will welcome your unique personality and skill-set, and reward you for being you. Wouldn’t you rather be hired and promoted for who you are?  I thought so.

Until the next time, this is your Networking Field Guide reminding you to be well, be confident, and be yourself.

© Kathy Corday and The Networking Field Guide®, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathy Corday and The Networking Field Guide ™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on seminars and workshops, visit us at http://www.thenetworkingfieldguide.com or http://www.alchemymediagroup.com

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