Mirriam-Webster defines fake as “A worthless imitation passed off as genuine”.
Let’s begin with the understanding that this is NOT what I mean when I refer to “Faking it…”. You need technical skill and aptitude in order to reach your goals. Otherwise, you risk becoming a greasy, used-car salesman type who will say anything to make a buck. That is not what this blog is about. I don’t want my doctors, teachers, mechanics, etc. to fake talent to cover incompetency. In the same way, I don’t want this blog to encourage anyone to say they can do things even though they don’t have any technical expertise to back it up. When I say “Fake it till you Make it”, I’m talking about having confidence in the midst of self-doubt. I’m talking about taking risks and understanding that you don’t have to know EVERYTHING in order to know something of great benefit. It’s about presentation and life skills. When writing your resume it is never kosher to invent qualifications. It is however very important and strategic to explain your qualifications in a persuasive way that matches up clearly with an employer needs. When budgeting, it’s never a good idea to spend your rent money on weekend getaways and other extravagances; however it’s a GREAT idea to make smart financial decisions that will grow the portion of your budget set aside for extras.
I hope you are starting to get my drift. This blog isn’t about lying to or about yourself. It’s about making the most of what you have, and making NO APOLOGIES for what you might lack. My goal is to help people to always lead with their strengths instead of with an apology. When you do that, faking it turns into making it really quickly.
Let me give you a real life example. Several years ago when I was transitioning out of college and internships into my first “real” job I was a few credits short of my bachelor’s degree. Being a first generation college student the educational bill fell on me, and I needed a break to earn some dough to finish my last few classes. I started applying for jobs, and to be honest, I was selling myself WAY short in my search. Even though I had compelling experience recruiting & training staff, programming, and managing administrative duties & budgets I felt like none of that mattered because I didn’t yet have my degree. On a whim I decided to apply for a job that seemed perfect for me except for one primary requirement…a bachelor’s degree. A few months later I donned my first business suit and began my professional life in a position that I didn’t have every qualification for. I excelled and became a top performer within a few months. I also learned my first “Fake it till you Make it” lesson – DON’T sell yourself short! The money I made in that job allowed me to finish my education, and keep moving upward, because I had learned that I was qualified and ready to kick butt and take names.
Do you have a similar story to share?
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaboney/390315232/">Jaboney</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>