One thing that I have heard a lot about lately is authenticity. We want people to be authentic. The interview process is no different. To put it another way, you need others to perceive you as genuine.
As an employer we want people to be authentic, but in a good way. If you are not a nice person then you could justify being mean as “I’m just being authentic.” No bueno. You don’t just want to be yourself, you want to be the best part of yourself. I have rarely met people who do not have a “good side” they could show others, if they choose to. Even Merle Dixon had a good side.
So you ask “how can I do all of the things you talk about in a job search and be authentic?” Fake it till you make it. You can tell when actors seem authentic in a role and you know when they don’t. Think of Tom Hanks in Cast Away vs. The DaVinci Code.
To be authentic you must believe in yourself. I am not trying to get all warm and fuzzy on you but if you don’t believe in yourself why should anyone else? I just read a blog post from Lori Deschene at Tiny Buddha about How to Love Your Authentic Self. The title sounds all tree hugger, otter scrubbing, PETA loving but it has some very good tips:
You are not your mistakes. I have heard “everything happens for a reason.” I believe the follow-up to that… “sometimes the reason bad things happen is that you are stupid and you make bad decisions.” I know I have! In God’s economy nothing is wasted.
You have nothing to prove. This comes into play when people ask about weaknesses or mistakes you have made. You need to own them, tell them what you learned and what you have done and / or are doing to make sure they don’t happen again.
The dark is valuable. You must have the attitude that Spartan Up! does… you either win or you learn. You don’t lose.
You matter. There is a Ted Talk that speaks to this: Our loss of wisdom by Barry Schwartz. He talks about how janitors at hospitals see their value in their jobs. Everyone matters, even you.
Positive feelings and actions breed more. To help yourself, help someone else. It is a scientifically proven fact that if you help someone else it helps you. Often times it helps the giver much more than receiver. You don’t even need to include someone else if you don’t want to. David Steindl-Rast says “Want to be happy? Be grateful.” Many of our problems are 1st world problems.
Get out there and meet the you that you want to introduce to others.
Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window- or break down a door.
P.S. I never thought I would be quoting Brooke Shields 🙂