What does it take to be that best candidate, the one that gets the job offer? We have to hit all the right notes, of course. What are the right notes? Having the right skills, certainly, but there are plenty of intangible parts too. A big part of the job search is that feeling of wanting to be liked, to fit in.
“Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of another writer.”
~ David Morrell
Let’s substitute the word candidate or perhaps professional for writer in this quote and it suits my point. Sometimes when we want to be liked to fit in, we attempt to do or be something that is already acceptable to the group. Something that might not really be true to ourselves.
When I started a job shortly after my divorce years ago they already had a Beth in the department so they asked me if they could call me Beth Anne. Now Anne is my middle name and I use it when writing, but it is silent. Beth Anne is what my mom said when she was pretty mad and almost at the point of using all three of my names. Wanting to be liked and fit in, I agreed to let everyone at my new office call me Beth Anne. And it quickly grated on my ears. And then I had to backtrack and tell them it wasn’t ok, after realizing that I hadn’t agreed to a short term thing.
I did fit in just fine with that group and we made a joke that I was the other Beth and the first Beth started to tell everyone she was the better Beth. It would have been ok to tell them I didn’t use the Anne every day.
I like to fit in just as much as anyone else. But I remind myself that fitting in is a two way consideration and my part is to be comfortable and confident with the self I am in that workplace. Interviewing isn’t about being the perfect candidate. It is a chemistry experiment – testing if the various components will mix together to create something wonderful and sustainable. Or, to tie back to my title – it is composing a song with all the right instruments to develop the tone that you mean to convey.
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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