You don’t need to be different

A few weeks ago I was speaking on a panel about interviewing. Career transition work is often a part of what I do with my clients; and I was one of three panelists. One of the other speakers made a comment that really stuck with me. He said that sometimes he tells candidates that they need to be more extroverted to get the job.

As a proud INFJ (if you don’t know what these 4 letters mean, head to and take your free Myers Briggs type assessment – it’s FASCINATING!) I strongly disagreed with that advice. I embrace my “I” (introverted nature) and while I also love speaking to groups and audiences, I know that I need to build in space around things like that for rest. We introverts need to recharge after being all people-y!

I didn’t disagree because I was offended. I disagreed because I don’t ever believe that telling someone who they are is wrong has a positive result. What I’ve seen time and time again is that the real power comes from learning and embracing who we are…not trying to be something different.

Trying to be something you’re not isn’t sustainable. Think about any time you’ve tried that. Maybe you’re an introvert like me and you tried to do lots of extroverted things. How long did it last? Sure, you might get some quick wins from trying to be different; but in the long-term it exhausts you in a way that few things do.

When you try to be different you’re out of alignment and that will always come with draining energy.

When you learn about yourself, learn ways to be the best version of yourself and work with your own patterns and tendencies you create sustainable energy.

The gentleman who shared his advice about people needing to be more extroverted has a heart of gold and had the best intentions. We simply happen to disagree on that strategy. After all, who really wants a job that they got because they weren’t themselves. I’d much rather learn to be my best self and find aligned opportunities.

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