Ageism. Sexism. Racism. Elitism. Favoritism. There are so many “isms” floating around today that no one is immune from worry. Whether you’re sitting in a waiting room before a job interview or making connections on LinkedIn, you probably wonder if the person on the other end is judging you on more than your resume and professional recommendations.
The harsh reality is that we can’t erase those “isms” from the business. Every hiring manager, CEO, colleague, and the manager is a human being with their own flaws. They have bad days and make snap decisions. They operate on past experiences and stereotypes that are unconscious influences on their thoughts and behaviors.
The good news is that “isms” may not have as much impact on your career as you fear. Relax for a few moments to think about some powerful truths regarding the beauty and the brains of the business world today.
• Some people may favor beautiful people, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What you consider a beautiful competitor may appear less attractive to the person in power. Never assume that you aren’t the queen or king they prefer.
• Confident people are more attractive regardless of their physical characteristics. If you learn to love yourself and hold your head high with authentic confidence, you’re likely to outshine your competitor regardless of their physical attributes.
• Millions of people have the ability to make business decisions based only on relevant factors, and beauty isn’t relevant to many professional jobs. Give others the benefit of the doubt and believe that they’re one of those millions.
• Self-care is the foundation of beauty. Take time to care for your body, mind, and soul to unleash a unique beauty that no competitor can replicate.
• College degrees and advanced certifications are impressive, but they’re not the only type of education that counts. Your past experiences and unique history may impress the right person at the right time, so never underestimate yourself.
• Every professional has their niche. Instead of focusing on what others have to offer, do your best to highlight your strengths. Maybe you’re not the most experienced or educated person in the room, but you are outstanding in some way. Find that star and illuminate it for all to see.
• Natural ability is rarely what leads to success. You have to nurture that ability with hours of study and practical application to stand out.
• In many cases, natural ability strikes out while hard work hits a home run. Hard work, study, and practice are equal-opportunity playing fields, so get on the field and do the work. The brains don’t always win.
Keep these revelations in mind as you forget about the “isms” and let go of worry. Embrace what makes you unique, find your niche and open your mind to appreciate the small wins that lead up to an amazing success story in the business world.
Beauty & Brains in Business – a Pep Talk for Modern Professionals