The advice I get the most when I am about to apply for another promotion at work generally boils down to “just try not to be yourself.” Disclaimer – this advice is not coming from HR or anyone in power, just random people I know.
I do not have a shiny and sparkly personality. I’m pretty much a grumpy old man. Sometimes I’m grumpy and funny. I have a tendency to go off on a rant on occasion. I don’t keep it a secret when I am applying for a promotion. I don’t keep it a secret when I am applying for jobs with another organization. I am pretty good at my job. I try to be a good boss. I want the people at work to have a reason to be there every day. I hope I succeed as a boss more than I fail. This is me.
I’m told when I go to interviews I should try to “sparkle” more. I don’t have a fake sparkly personality. The thought of me with a fake sparkly personality should scare people. I wouldn’t want to hire someone who was fake in their interview and I wouldn’t want to work for someone who wants to hire fake people. I would like to be better at job interviews, but not in a fake way. I just want to be less nervous and to ramble less. I’m not sure I will ever get there.
I’m told I shouldn’t tell people I’m looking at other jobs because it might tarnish me in the eyes of decision-makers. I’ve told the decision-makers that I am always going to be aware of opportunities and that I will go for any I think are right for me. I expect the same from the people who work for me. They shouldn’t think about how I’m going to feel about them leaving for a better job. They should know that I will be sad when they leave, but I don’t judge them for looking. They should use me as a reference. I will say nice things about them and then I will be sad. I really need to learn how some people view employees as replaceable cogs. This must make it easier to lose good people.
Generally, I should keep my mouth shut and be fake when looking for a new job. No, thank you. I would rather stay where I am forever than do that.
I’m just gonna be me.