“There are two types of people. The people that see something weird and figure it out, like you, and the people that see something weird and ask you to figure it out for them.” The opening act haven’t (yet) figured out how to be good career performers, whereas Uriah Heep certainly did! Let’s explore vicariously through good and bad rock bands how we can exude confidence after figuring out the weird nuances of our careers.
Career success and confidence are all just stage personas.
The people I’ve met throughout my career that have been good at their job, or at least good enough, have an aura of confidence. They can roll with the punches, can adapt to changes in circumstance, and if they don’t know something they don’t immediately break under pressure. When I dig in deep into their psychological make-up, I see that they’re just better at bluffing than the norm.
Call it lying or putting up your shields. I think it’s important.
We go to concerts because we want to see the fantastic.
“I was standing next to the singer of the opening band. People, men, were fawning over him. Girls were buying records. One girl even cradled a signed copy.” The opening act matched the image and personality of good rock bands, except, they were like your inauthentic colleagues that lie their way through work. These people didn’t care about the music. They wanted to be impressed by style.
Balk at the ‘fake it until you make it’ tactic. It does work.
Uriah Heep have both style and substance.
When we forget to apply style to our substantial work, our employers forget about us. It’s unfortunate! Style shouldn’t matter in a purely meritorious society or employment structure! Here’s the thing: once you’ve figured out those weird nuances, you find those little flourishes of style to make your work stand out. When the keyboardist stylishly motioned his hands to the beat, it was great!
Where can you apply style to your work?
I’ll give you an example with my writing.
Have you noticed how I’ve been writing in a particular style? Sentence, paragraph, sentence, photo? It’s a style I’ve been developing based on accessibility and readability. I eyeball the length of the paragraph based on what feels comfortable, where it’s not too long to be boring, and off-set each with sentences. It’s a verse-chorus-verse structure that keeps the writing content moving along.
Doesn’t detract from the substance!
How can we have the best of both worlds?
I hate watching bad bands, or dealing with incompetent colleagues, just like the most righteous of us. They do have something to teach us. Their success is something that we can borrow. Instead of getting frustrated with a colleague the next time they ask you for help on the same thing for the hundredth time, observe how they achieved their success, and consider if you might be lacking in that area.
Their misplaced overconfidence can’t match our skill, so show yours off!
|Sources: My professional experiences.
Inspirations: The move away from traditional Concert Reviews and the need to vent after seeing a terrible opening band.