I have been doing human resources consulting and recruitment marketing on an international scale for many years now and there is this one question that I hear quite frequently. Probably quite surprisingly, it comes from both employers and job seekers in equal shares and the question is, how can I find the perfect match?
The best advice I can give you is to be yourself. Whether you are on the employer side or looking for a new job, don’t desperately try to meet expectations by twisting and deforming yourself into something you feel the other side wants to see. This will not only kill your soul sooner or later but it will also teach you a lesson about your own incapabilities. Especially in western societies, there is this narrative of you can be everything. Sorry to shatter your dreams but no, you can’t be everything, even if your mum always said so.
Sounds pretty harsh and far away from mainstream, right? Well, the good news is, you don’t have to be everything either and that’s the other side of the coin. In a society where everyone is told they can be everything, what used to be a promise of social advancement now is a relentless norm, or shall I say a threat? Because anybody who does not achieve everything automatically becomes the loser, or some kind of failure in a society based on productivity only. So once again, be yourself!
Ask yourself these questions
- What do I expect from (business) life?
- What am I willing to do?
- What am I able to do?
- What will be the consequences?
Even capitalist market economies and societies need artists, free spirits, dreamers, inventors or people caring about others. This will probably not make you rich, but it will make you happy and create this deep satisfaction of not having to act against your own personal nature. Being 56 now, I personally have learnt two things especially that I really did not understand as a young man. The first one is that money does not make you happy (although crying in a limousine is more convenient than in public transportation, this I have to admit). And the second is that you will regret the things you haven’t done much more than the things you did.
Find out who you are and don’t desperately try to meet expectations. This requires a lot of courage and from time-to-time, debunking the most dangerous and persistent lies; the lies you tell to yourself… Be aware that everything that you do or don’t do has consequences, for you and for others. Before you decide, always take your time to think about the consequences with an open and unbiased mindset.
Okay, I will stop this now. I can see questions arise while you are reading this. I can see the question; “so you, as a recruitment marketing expert, tell us to be hippies from now on?” No, I don’t! All I say is that you need to recognize who you are and then act accordingly. If you’re a hippie, be a hippie! If you are a doctor, be a doctor! If you are a controller and checking and adding up the last post decimal positions makes you happy, go ahead! If you want to be a star, shine! If standing in the limelight makes you feel uncomfortable… no one expects you to expose yourself. Be a part of the blurred masses! But don’t distort your nature!
Having understood this, you can be everything, everything you want to be… not what others see in you, or demand. This will make you the true master of your (business) life so give your true self the opportunity to develop, to rise and shine.
First published August 5, 2020. Bugg Report, Australia