“Be true to yourself. You can’t begin to love yourself, or even be true to yourself, unless you know who you really are.” Those are words of wisdoms from legendary day time television queen Oprah Winfrey.
I believe in order to be true…you must be authentic. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about authenticity occurred during my news career. But, I’ve been able to recognize the lessons as an organizational development practitioner.
The television news industry is a highly competitive field. The industry places significant emphasis on creativity, storytelling, talent, on-air personas, and looks. I joined the industry more than a decade ago. I wasn’t on a mission to emulate the style of any other journalist in the business. There are a handful of major news figures that inspired me with their style, innovative writing, and interviewing abilities. Inspiration never propelled me to stand in front of a camera…or sit behind an anchor desk…and become the clone of veterans. It was important for me to give my authentic self to the public.
Every year, I attended professional conventions and conferences. Resume reels are needed for television news journalists to elevate up the career ladder. Resume reels include samples of television news stories, live shots, anchor clips, and talk show host excerpts. News leaders from across the country critique resume reels at the conventions. They are honest about what on air talent personalities do right and wrong on the news desk or in the field. And they are brutally honest about how television journalists look and sound. Voice. Delivery. Wardrobe. Makeup. Hair. You name it. One year…an industry leader recommended that I change my hair and appearance to resemble a prominent journalist in the midwest.
I decided against becoming the identical twin of that journalist. Modifying one or more features of my on air persona would eventually create a whole new identity. I realized early on that some of the feedback was very subjective. So, I had to learn how to measure the advice. I focused on professional development. I focused on becoming more polished. And continued to hone my skills as a journalist.
There are lessons in authenticity for all working professionals.
- Being authentic requires a great deal of self discovery.
- Authentic individuals are secure with their capabilities.
- Authenticity is linked to core values.
- People gravitate towards authentic individuals.
- Authentic individuals have an amazing ability to inspire others.
Did something in this piece resonate with you? If so, share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.
Interesting how the signs of “love loss” are always there. Yet…you don’t really pay attention to the signs early on. Falling in and out of love with your job is really no different than a relationship. Slowly but surely that special person who had the amazing ability to make you feel so alive…now suffocates you. And you find yourself desperately gasping for air. Sadly, air is space…from that person. Or in this case your job.
Sometimes falling out of love with work is inevitable. A big part of it is due to that word we hear a lot of: change. The world is rapidly changing. Organizations are constantly changing to sustain growth and viability. The elements you once loved about your work have changed. And you’ve changed too. The thrill is gone. Here are four signs that your heart isn’t in your job:
1. No longer believing in the organization. Your name is on the employee roster. But, you have little to no confidence in your organization. The culture is foreign. Gone are the days of you flashing and passing your business cards to people touting all the wonderful news about your organization.
2. Excessive Absenteeism and Tardiness. Finding any and every reason to take time off the job by scheduling appointments, making mundane matters urgent and calling in sick. If you do go to work…the arrival time is later and later. Any diversion will do. Stopping at a coffee shop. Having idle chatter with any and everybody.
3. Low Motivation. Making good on job requirements with a dearth of excitement. You’ve lost the drive to take on additional tasks and contribute suggestions. For eight hours or so…you’re going through the motions of your day without actually having emotions.
4. Being a loner. Rejecting lunch invitations from co-workers. You opt to spend your breaks isolated from people at your job. In fact, you spend most of your time thinking about your situation and questioning your purpose.
The signs are there. You’re officially at a professional crossroad. Your heart is no longer in your job. Do you throw in the towel? In this economy…ABSOLUTELY NOT if you haven’t landed a new position! There’s a not so subtle hint: maybe it is time for you to seek employment elsewhere.
I encourage you to do something. Yes. Even though the organization has changed. Yes. Even though you have changed… rediscover all the things that made you fall in love with the organization in the first place. You know what pulled at your heartstrings. So, what was it? When your heart is in it…you can identify hundreds of reasons you’re in love. I encourage you to go back to the beginning…
Today is the official observance of Good Friday. Many of you celebrate the holiday by spending time with your kids, tackling a things to do list, shopping, preparing Easter dinner, spring cleaning, getting your hair done, partaking in manicure and pedicure, getting the pets groomed, washing your car and going to church. And just really enjoying your day off!
Good Friday for many is spent on the job with same routine. In your office. At your cubicle. In the boardroom. Schmoozing. On business calls. En route to business deals. Dealing with customers. In the field. In front of a computer. At work. And so…you’re waiting with expectation for the week to end and the holiday weekend to begin. Whatever source of motivation, inspiration and personal method you can find…it is definitely used to make it through the day. But just in case you’re all tapped out…
I challenge you to think of this day and every Friday that follows as GOOD Friday. If you need a little jolt…I have the perfect exercise for you. It’s something I use during my transformational change and learning seminars. I encourage you to write a positive statement or series of statements about your workplace using these five words.
Here’s an example:
It is always good to be in the workplace. I am afforded another wonderful opportunity to display my skills, grow to my full potential and build camaraderie with co-workers.
Write it. Recite it. And make it your mantra. Remember, you can do this exercise today and every GOOD Friday. You may be surprised at how the statements evolve over time. I’d love for you to share some of your positive statements.