“In order to stay in this position, you’re going to need to rethink how you’re presenting yourself online.”
When I was hired as the Executive Director at a community foundation, during the interview process it was applauded that I was so internet savvy. Until they hired me, and they felt like my personality online was unprofessional. This is what the board chair said to me, a young girl in her mid twenties who had PROVEN her ability to be professional AND have a personality. I mean, my references called me professional. The millions of dollars I’d raised proved I knew how to do this work.
It was an ultimatum, make no mistake. Shut down your passion project if you want to keep this job.
It wrecked me. I was heartbroken - because I loved my blog, and I was applauded by my readers for being authentic and showing my personality. It was home for me. But, I had committed to this career path, and I was in the highest seat of power possible. I knew that came at a cost. So I shut down my blog, the one with thousands of posts and millions of readers.
It’s the biggest professional regret I have.
If I could go back and talk to myself, I’d tell that young scared girl what I know now.
1️⃣ When people are intimidated, they will try and intimidate you. Don’t fall for it.
2️⃣ When someone asks you to be less you, they do not have your best interests at heart.
3️⃣ You can be professional AND have personality. One does not come at the expense of the other.
4️⃣ You always have a choice, even when you feel like you don’t.
Today, I work for no one but me. I make more than 6 times the salary they paid me. I let them win that battle, but I showed the hell up for the war.
Do not ever allow someone else to steal your joy. Tell me, what’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?