Written by Caitlin Barner
In today’s business world, it’s all about being unique.
Most of the time, however, we find ourselves holding back from being vulnerable because we are scared to be exactly that: our true self. It’s difficult in a competitive business environment to feel fully comfortable being completely yourself – our quirks, insecurities, and weaknesses are out in the open just as much as our strengths, passions, and expertise. Our generation is laser-focused on individuality – but does that make being authentic also make us a part of the crowd? How can we truly create a voice for ourselves that stands out amongst the rest?
This week is Eller Be Heard Week – a time dedicated to finding the voice of the students in our college. It’s a time to speak up, give meaningful feedback, and express what you want the future of Eller to look like. But it’s also a great opportunity for us as students to reflect on what we’ve done, and what we want to do in the future. You can recognize the skills you have to make you great, and the skills you need to become even better. Most of all, Be Heard Week is about finding your own voice that you can share with others.
With Be Heard week wrapping up, I thought I’d offer some pieces of advice I’ve learned when creating my own personal brand and finding my voice in the vast business world.
- Be genuine! – If you are interested in something, GO FOR IT. If you’re not interested, don’t go for it. It’s as simple as that. There is nothing worse than someone pursuing an opportunity as a resume builder rather than having a curious passion to learn and grow. If you’re not sure, try things out with an open mind. You never know what may surprise you and turn into a full-time career path. Be true to yourself.
- Be fearless! – Be confident in your abilities to do anything and continue to grow. If you feel insecure about something, fake it ‘til you make it. Go outside of your comfort zone and really soak in how you feel and focus on what you’ve learned. If it works for you, write it down to remember the things that really stick with you.
- Last but not least, hear yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, change your course of action. If you don’t like what you’re talking about, change the conversation. We spend a lot of time in our careers trying to please others when we should really be focused on ourselves. Don’t be afraid to make time for what matters most to you – it gives you time to step back and de-stress.
No matter where you’re headed, remember that there’s always time to Be Heard.