Always be Yourself — Nobody Likes a Phony

October 20, 2013

Dale Carnegie once asked Paul Boynton, then employment director for a major oil company, what is the biggest mistake people make in applying for jobs. Carnegie figured Boynton ought to know: he had interviewed more than sixty thousand job seekers; and he had written a book entitled “6 Ways to Get a Job.” Boynton replied:

“The biggest mistake people make in applying for jobs is in not being themselves. Instead of taking their hair down and being completely frank, they often try to give you the answers they think you want.” But it doesn’t work, because nobody wants a phony. Nobody ever wants a ‘counterfeit coin.’”

Instead, be yourself. Act on the sage advice that Irving Berlin once gave to George Gershwin. Berlin was famous, but Gershwin was a struggling young composer working for thirty-five dollars a week in Tin Pan Alley. Berlin, impressed by Gershwin’s ability, offered Gershwin a job as his musical secretary at almost three times the salary he was then getting. “But don’t take the job,” Berlin advised. “If you do, you may develop into a second-rate Berlin. But if you insist on being yourself, someday you’ll become a first-rate Gershwin.”

To cultivate a mental attitude that will bring us peace and freedom from worry, always remember … Let’s not imitate others. Let’s find ourselves and be ourselves.

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of the Northwest, providers of professional development and management course. Please connect with us on Facebook!

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