There is a difference between selling yourself and selling out. This week I was a speaker and guest at a job fair put on by Career Builder and the University of Phoenix. While I walked around and visited with employers and job seekers alike, I noticed a number of different attitudes.
Some of the attendees were obviously very serious about their search. They dressed appropriately, carried themselves with confidence, and had purpose in their communication. Others were obviously clueless. One girl wore her best pajama pants and seemed to think someone owed her a job.
The group in the middle was the one I noticed the most though. They were serious, but didn’t totally understand how to go about it. For some, I thought maybe they were wearing the best they had and perhaps lacked the skill to groom for a great impression. None of them lacked sincerity in their approach but I discovered a bit of misinformation they were basing their approach on.
“I want an employer to take me as I am. There is no way I want to get a job by being someone I’m not and then have to keep that act up to keep the job!” was how one gentleman explain it to me. He admitted that he didn’t press his pants or get a haircut for the occasion because he was going to be himself.
This is where the misinformation lies. If I’m normally around my house in shorts and t-shirt (which I am) because that is how I’m comfortable, no problem. The expectations around my home office are probably less stringent than the typical corporate setting. When I dress that way, I am myself. When I step out to present at a conference or meet with a prospective client in a business environment, I wear a suit and tie or at least a jacket. Everything is pressed and crisp and I am still being myself.
Just because my clothes changed and maybe even my demeanor doesn’t mean I’m no longer myself. The truth is, when I go through the effort to elevate my appearance I am being my BEST self. When I mind my words carefully and listen thoroughly, I’m being my best self.
Don’t confuse the changing of clothes and the elevation of manners with changing who you are. Who we are as people comes from the inside out. Not from the dressings on the outside in.
If you are seeking a job, clients, or a date. Be your best! Not THE best. Not someone different. YOUR best. If I’m an employer, potential client, or prospective date, I don’t want your average as my first impression. I will get that eventually anyway. Impress me!
Life is a one shot opportunity. Isn’t it worth your best shot?
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PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset and Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.