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Saturday, June 15, 2024
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When it comes to career advice, a lot of it boils down to fitting in the group you aspire to be one day. This is where the phrase: dress for the job you want, not the job you have, come in play among other tips along these lines. Going against this status quo are two incredibly successful women, Melinda Gates and Oprah Winfrey have the exact opposite take on career advice. Instead, the real secret to career advancement, especially for women, is more about being yourself instead of just trying to fit in.

Why not to “Fit In”?

Melinda Gates was one of the latest superstars to give this take, sharing a long list of women who featured in National Geographic’s telecast that is produced by women writers and photographers exclusively. Sharing her most important piece of advice for aspiring women across the globe, Gates stated that ‘fitting in’ was overrated. She shared her experience from early career,

When the magazine asked Gates for her number one piece of advice for young women, she was blunt in her recommendation. During the first few years of her career, Gates was focused on impressing her co-workers, which unfortunately, did not bring the best in her. Moreover, it did not enable her to bring forward the best in her co-workers. Best advice according to the entrepreneur is to seek environments and people that can empower one to be their true self. While changing the dressing may help, Gates insists that inner light shine beats superficial changes.

Pretending can prove to be exhausting

In this regard, Oprah Winfrey, the TV host, backs Gates up by abruptly ending a 60-minute show since it did not align with her true self. Instead, Winfrey quit to search for TV projects that line up better with her approach and personality. Dressing to impress rarely works as constant policing of oneself may eat into the work energy of any individual.

Supporting this thesis, a Columbia and Deloitte based researches have proved that covering up one’s true identity at a professional level is bound to have a negative impact on work performance in addition to psychological health. Identity may include introverted nature, emotional soul, as well as sexual orientation. When it comes to “fitting in”, that too at the cost of changing authenticity, the research also suggests that it is never worth the effort.

In addition, experts believe that a person can shine brighter in their existing work role, only if they are open to the employee’s authentic nature.

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