May 3, 2012

There's No Room For Your Lack of Ego Here

                                                                                     Source: beauty-in-life.tumblr.com via Hannah on Pinterest


I used to think being humble was one of the greatest qualities my parent's instilled in me, my sister and my brother. We were raised never to brag about what we had and always know that we could improve next time. Success was never defined by material things. We each had our own definition of success. Mine is living in New York City and working at a job that I love. People spend a majority of their lifetime at work, so I could not understand why someone would want to be miserable at a job (yes I understand it's a luxury). I pursued fashion because everyone I met in the industry loved their job. I wanted to love my job.


However, I found that a humble person usually ends up not getting the success they deserve. Perhaps it's the New York City culture of being very cut throat and taking advantage of others to get ahead. That's just not me. Unfortunately, I think that may have held me back from great things. I am not the loudest one in the room (unless sports is on) and I tend to get overshadowed. My friends nudge me that I should speak up but I never wanted to achieve something in life because I aggressively touted around. I wanted to earn it and someone didn't allow me an opportunity then perhaps they felt I didn't deserve it.

I write this out of frustration and exhaustion from what I've experienced. I don't mean to whine or complain and apologize if this is what this sounds like. I wanted to explore this idea and see if I could find some answers. I'm not sure it's one particular community. It could be New York, social media people, bloggers or a combo of all of that. I just know I'm exhausted from it all.

Generation Y has been called the "Me" generation. YouTube has allowed anyone their 15 seconds of fame and "celebrities" like Kim Kardashian or the cast of Jersey Shore have shown that you don't need any special skill or talent to make millions of dollars in this country. That created such an explosion of celebrity culture that this generation suddenly felt entitled to more without having to work hard at it. My goal is not to be famous. My goal is to be happy (by my standards) and fulfilled with my career. None of my goals say I have to be a millionaire, drive a Ferrari or be on MTV. Not everyone from Generation Y is like that, but it has become a bigger trend than in any other generation before us.

And in the social media realm where I have been applying for jobs, it is just as noisy. Anyone can call themselves a "social media specialist" these days. Companies are putting their trust in people who are not exactly qualified, then companies don't want to work with "social media specialists" anymore. Their expectations for a social media role then become outlandish demands and they don't know what kind of person is the best for the job. I try to let my experience dictate to the potential employer what kind of worker I am. However, I am finding that is becoming less and less appealing to companies. They want you to "sell" yourself where I feel like there are too many sales people in this world. It reminds me a lot of used car sales man. A lot of people selling a lot of junk.

No situation makes this more present then networking. I hate networking. I understand the idea of meeting people and making connections. That part I like. The part where people are just there to meet others to help themselves get ahead, I don't like. I cringe when the first words out of someone's mouths are "so what do you do?" Is it all about the status and labels? Most business titles sound a lot fancier than they are and you can most likely elaborate yours to sound more authoritative. I don't typically answer "I am ___ and work at ___ company." I like to tell them "Well I like to help companies or brands build their social media presence..."  I typically think whether or not I want to get to know them and perhaps be friends. But not everyone wants to be my friend.

In the blogging community, there are so many egos. It's surprising they can all fit into a room sometimes. I have no idea why. I don't think this issue resides only in New York City so I can't blame the NYC culture. My personal view: there's enough room for all of us. No one is necessarily "better" than anyone else. We are all bloggers. I'm always happy to help another blogger anyway I can. I don't understand this cut throat attitude most of us have. It honestly boggles my mind. What are you so afraid of? We are each unique and can each bring a different voice to the table. Seeing someone do well just makes me want to work that much harder.

I love blogging and I love social media. I just feel there's a better way to approach both of these industries then I have been seeing. I'm sure this issue exists outside both of those worlds but these are the two that I'm engrossed in on a daily basis. I do have a passion, a drive and competitive edge. Put me in front of a Scrabble board and I will show you competitive! However, I don't think I need to be the "hey look at me" type to be successful in the world (or so I hope).


Recently, Conan O'Brien talked to some UCSD students who had named their school after him for a day. He took questions from the crowd for a little over an hour and answered almost all of them (except one personal one). He gave some great little nuggets of advice to the kids of our future and tried to instill in them what my family has: be humble, work hard and be nice to people. That's how he got to where he is today. It was so great to hear someone who is successful in his field and who clearly loves his job give that advice. I wish there were more like Conan.

I hope to carve out a career path where I can say that I did it with my convictions and followed those core values. I didn't do it by being a sleazy used car sales man but by proving my value to them. I'm hoping this big bubble of egos is just a fad and that more hard working and humble folks will gain the recognition they deserve and be commended for it.

That concludes the end of my rambling. What are your thoughts about egos? Do you think I need to join in?

P.S. If you ever see me around, please come say hi! I'm actually really shy so I am typically a wall flower in the room. Or you can tweet me and I'll come say hi. Don't want you to think my lack of saying hi was because of my ego (lol!) that simply is not the case!

18 comments:

  1. it's funny that you wrote this bc I've been feeling this way too. I have a job that I dislike I didn't always hate it but it wasn't the field I want to be in. When I graduated college I had no idea what I wanted to do so I took the first job opportunity then went on to the job I'm at now bc it was something I knew. Now that I started my blog I feel like I know now what direction I want my life to go. What career path to go into but like you I feel ummm weirdly stuck? I've been applying to soical media jobs as well and I just don't know how to market myself. I've never been the type to brag about myself or talk about myself. This is why I'm terrible at writing cover letters. But I finding openings that I feel like I'm perfect for and then i apply and hear nothing back. Which leaves me feeling like why didn't they even contact me. As do you market yourself in a world that millions of people are now marketing themselves as a social media expert. Everyone thinks they know the key...which sometimes can be true but not all the time. I agree there are plenty of ppl out there that don't have a freaking clue to what they are doing. Which makes me mad bc give me the job! lol And as for blogger egos. I don't get it. You're a blogger. You're not famous. I feel like it's bc of PR companies and others that blow smoke up their ass that makes them feel like somebody. Also I'm tiiiiirrreeddd of seeing the same old bloggers everywhere. Like great that bloggers are getting recognized but there are a lot of talented bloggers out there besides the same group that get recognized all the time. I'm just saying if PR companies want to work with bloggers they shouldn't be afraid to reach out to upcoming bloggers and no Natalie Off Duty, Man Repeller, etc. are NOT considered upcoming bloggers. Just saying. Anyway now that I ranted on your blog I am done now lol

    http://fashionistanygirl.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aw Heather, had no idea! I always get "you studied fashion, why social media" Um, sorry social media didn't exist while I was going to school so yes I discovered it after but I've been doing it for 3 years. Perhaps you could do a part-time or internship just to get "experience" to show you're serious about making the change? And yes definitely think PR/companies are responsible for "blowing smoke up their ass" (lmao love it!) and what happens when bloggers are no longer the big thing? They're going to not have a way of making a living.

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  2. Excellent writing my friend. The job search can be so disheartening sometimes. Especially in the social media arena. They want you have to have 7 years of experience and social media hasn't even been around that long. As far as the snobby bigger than life attitude bloggers are concerned, people will get tired of them. Their reputation will start to precede them sooner or later. I can't be concerned with them. I do believe there is enough room for all of us. I would like to see more ethnic bloggers represented on campaigns. I'm tired of seeing blogger campaigns where I am not represented.

    Keep your head up lady! I know you aren't religious, but I always say "rejection is god's protection". Maybe the universe knows that the jobs you are applying to won't be a good fit. You never know. But I am proud of you. You are doing so much more than I did when I was your age. A real go getter!

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    1. Aw thanks Toya :) Your comment was very sweet and touching. Great point about ethnic bloggers. There's definitely not a great diversity represented. Hopefully that will change soon!

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  3. Interviewing is a place where being humble gets you NOWHERE. You have to pump yourself up, so you are THE ONE they want to hire. but, once you're in a job- you can quietly prove yourself. but you still have to make it clear that you are making an impact. I work in an entirely different industry than you do- but I think that unless the higher ups realize what makes you particularly valuable, in this day and age, you are at risk for a pink slip. Sorry that you are frustrating, but nicely stated. I know you're valuable- of course!!

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    1. Yeah I know :( I'm working on pumping myself up in interviews. Just feels unnatural to me. Aww thanks :)

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  4. I'm linking to this post in my Friday Favorites tomorrow. I'm looking for a job in Tampa, Florida and this really hit home. ILY.

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    1. Aw thanks lady! I know everyone is struggling right now, didn't want to sound too whiny. Best of luck on your job search!

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  5. Sounds to me like you're in a bit of a pickle. The challenge with working in the blogging/social-media and fashion world is that those with the largest egos are often the ones who win. It's a part of the game. The line between ego and self-confidence tends to get blurred among bloggers. But in order to succeed it's necessary to get off the sideline and let your voice be heard.

    Granted, some bloggers tend to go above & beyond to bolster their talents and it may come off as inauthentic or veiled narcissism. But you shouldn't be hesitant to stand out amongst your peers. Even if it means tooting your own horn every now and then.

    Frankly, I feel like if you're reluctant to "sell" yourself (i.e. your talents, expertise etc.) then you chose the wrong industry. Not only do you want employers to be confident in your abilities by way of your proven work, you should let them know that you're capable and you aren't afraid to say so.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying humility should be thrown out the door, it's always appropriate to be humble when someone compliments your work and magnifies your accomplishments. But when you're trying to get ahead, don't be afraid to speak well of yourself.

    It all comes down to how you measure success and what road you choose to get there. While your methods may bring you there by way of a marathon. Try not to be upset if a sprinter gets there faster by using methods that make you uncomfortable. Favor aint fair.

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    1. Yes, fashion/bloggers do hold some of the biggest egos. But I've also met some great people in both industries as well. So I don't want to make it sound like it's all bad.

      I hear ya, I definitely need to work on coming off the sidelines. It's just unfamiliar territory to me. haha I like your metaphor, definitely feel like I'm running a marathon :)

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  6. Hi!

    Great Post! I found your page beacuse you and I won the sylemebad giveaway. OMG I totally understand and feel where you are coming from. Lije you I hat enetworking ebcause of that same reason and finding a job ANYWHERE in ANY market is becoming hard to come by. There are just too many peopel looking for jobs that are not qualified (and will do your job for less) overly qualified but have not worked in the industry(that will do your job for less.. and the qualified like you who have to then sell your soul to the devil to get your dream job and be happy.

    I want to thank you for writing this because I thought I was the only one feeling this way.

    I would forget about the snobby bloggers. You are gonna run into many people like that. Being you will get you somewhere! Just look at all your features!!! You gotta be doing something right. I want to get to yoru status.. LOL. :)

    PS... it is ok to be cocky and show it sometimes.. :)

    Keep up the great work and I'm following you.. great blog!

    xoxoxo

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    1. Love Nicole (a.k.a Style Me BAD)! Aw turns out a lot of people are feeling this way. I was hesitant to publish the post but everyone has been so supportive :)

      Aww thank you. I still don't think of myself as hot shit haha but my friends tried to encourage that just because I know something doesn't mean it's common knowledge. I'm happy to answer any questions you have, think all bloggers should help each other!

      Thanks for the support!

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  7. Reading this post, I felt I can really relate to a lot of the things you say, even if I don't work in social media. Blogging's just a hobby of mine, and I'm happy to keep it that way. Like you, I'm not a very loud person, and the whole idea of "selling" myself is something that I find difficult. For what it's worht, I'm certain that those bloggers who are so convinced that they're better that others, will some day be revealed for who they truly are. I think perhaps one of the reasons for the "cut throat" attitude may be uncertainty and the fear of not being on the "hotlist" the next day.

    I'll also say this: When everybody is shouting, you can't tell them apart, it's just noise. But you will notice the person speaking in a low, but firm voice.

    Happy Friday!

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    1. You make a good point. I try not to concern myself with them but when you start seeing them around on a constant basis, it gets to be too much. This past week I really had to take a break from events and the blogging world. hehe I like your saying :)

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  8. Totally relating to you here. I always was a wall flower and I kept to myself everywhere I went. But I feel that blogging has opened me up and put me out there. While there has been harsh unsaid (I felt the stares) criticism at me from other bloggers, I find that 80% of the bloggers have been genuinely nice and welcoming.

    But I can only imagine how it is looking for a job in the world were everyone is competing for the same thing with just about the same qualities and how difficult it is to stand out. We can try to be ourselves, but with so many people trying to do the same thing copying each other over and over its amazing on how anyone can be unique. I am lucky that in my real world job, I really don't have much competition (not many women working in garages). I know that Ill never make blogging my full time career, but I do enjoy it as my second job, it helps me find others who love doing the things I like and just networking to find more people like me.

    As far as deserving things, Ive come to the conclusion that some people grow up having a hard life and continue to have a hard life (me), others start out the same and eventually have a great life, and then some have a life with out any worries or problems what so ever. Its just how out life is written and I don't think it can be changed no matter how hard you work to change it. I only say this out of experience personally and what Ive seen through others, but I could be wrong. If you don't see this on others, I find that people hide how they are very well and they learn to work with their life circumstances.

    I really hope that one day you find your spotlight and step into it because from what I gather from meeting you, you have the desire and gratuity to enjoy it and someone will recognize you for it.

    xxoo
    Nicole

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    1. You a wall flower?! You are one of the most outgoing people I know! One of the many reasons I love blogging is getting the chance to meet great people (like you) and bond over common interests. Aww you're so sweet :)

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  9. Fashion Me ChicMay 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Kimberley stay true to yourself. Don't try to change who you are for any industry. I agree with you that some people can be mean and use whatever they can at their avantage. i will not be surprise that some will sell their mother (lol) to get ahead. That is ok, you do you.
    However, my dear friend, sometimes, you have to put your foot down. Be nice is great quality to have but don't let anyone take advantage of it.

    New York is though but there's a lot of nice Yorkers just like you. I believe in the same thing that you do. I was raised to be that way but at the same time, I do have my NY attitude that says don't mess with me. The fashion industry is hard and you will run into a lot of fake and superficial people trying to get something out of you.

    By the way it is not a NY thing, people like this are everywhere and in any fields, I know guys that work in finance and they are always affraid to say that they are bankers because you know we live in a society of gold diggers. As soon as a woman hear what they do for a living, she is on a roll, they have to hide it to see if the girl is really into them.

    You keep your head straight and you will be ok. I will most def stop to say hello if I see you at an event. That was my two cent. LOl

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  10. I hate egos and i hate brafging even more! I def like to achieve and succeed wuthout throwing it in peoples faces. I like networking without it feeling like its networkinf. Im with ya sister!! Excellent pist. Keep doung YOU and screw everyone ekse.

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