I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately. Let’s just say there are some interesting things going on in my life and lots of folks have lots to say (reminder to self: stop telling lots of folks). I was lamenting the fact that I felt dismissed, judged, and undervalued.
A mentor gave me one piece of (alarming) advice about the work place that stuck with me:
“Although unfair, everyday is an audition”.
I found two definitions of auditioning:
1-An interview at which a singer, actor, dancer, or musician demonstrates their suitability and skill.
2-A trial performance, as by an actor, dancer, or musician, to demonstrate suitability or skill.
I think we all know the first definition, but the first part of the second definition is that caught my eye. Auditions are a trial period where it is OK to be asked to demonstrate your skills. The thing I’d like to highlight is that it’s for a limited time –hence the word trial.
But some folks expect people to prove themselves everyday but that’s tiring! Right? Living everyday as on a trial performance is not healthy. But unfortunately, I had to agree with that sentiment. In some work circles there’s always this “thing” hanging over you about your reputation. Everything you do, say, and work you perform is always “shaping” your “reputation”. To me this means you are always auditioning, always proving.
When I mentioned this everyday auditioning advice to my hubby (he is always my sounding board and gives the best advice) he said I don’t need to buy in to that unhealthy thinking.
He said, let’s oversimplify to make a point: If you are the best cook, dancer, employee, blogger, or athlete ever and someone else shares this perspective, 50% will believe it and 50% won’t. The same is true in reverse, if someone passes along that you a horrible parent, dancer, singer, cook, there is a 50% chance that others will believe it and the other half won’t. Bottom line: there will be a group of people who believe that you are great and others who won’t, no matter what you do.
I think of the heated conversations men have about athletes illustrates this perfectly. You can take one athlete, say LeBron James, and one person who loves him lists stats and hurdles he’s overcome to convince others of LeBron’s greatness. But others, who know those same stats and watch the same games will disagree and call LeBron garbage. They will say he only can do what he does because of those around him (coaches and teammates) and they say he’s no good. Same athlete, same performance, very different perspectives.
So, if you are a person who cares about what folks think or even worse, thinks you can change how people perceive you, you are going through life auditioning–be it for a job or role you already have. You’ll always be trying to prove that you are worth your title.
I’m learning to focus on doing good work regardless of what others think. I will not keep auditioning for a job or a role I already have.
Changing my perspective,