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Your personal brand: Listening to your own advice

As human beings we seem to think that if we can’t decide what’s right, we should let others decide for us. We tend to look to others to give us advice, tips, techniques, ways to succeed. We get excited about the latest trend, management tool, words of wisdom from one of the wise ‘gurus’ out there.

Visiting the workplace to ensure a good fit
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

When you’re trying to make sense of everything around you, how about listening to that old master of wisdom: you! You know these things. You might have studied them, or sat at the knee of a great philosopher as a child, or read all of those voluminous tomes, but you know what steps to take. Sometimes there is technical knowledge that is involved, which can be learned or acquired through hiring experts. Other times there is situational knowledge that not having been in that situation, you would like to find out more about. For the most part, you are the one who is the expert on all things you. You know what you like about working somewhere. You know when you feel your efforts are not valued. You know when you would like to stretch and grow in a new challenge that you could take on. You know what makes sense for you. Others may tell you to take that job because it’s paying a lot of money or it’s with a prestigious company, but that little voice inside you is telling you that you don’t like the people there, or that you don’t think it will be so stimulating.

Listening to that voice inside of you can be the wisest thing you ever do. You want to challenge yourself and grow and sometimes, that opportunity will be the most appealing to you, even if it doesn’t come with all the trappings of the other jobs. That’s the voice you have to revere inside yourself. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, tells us about learning from a grade school teacher that she should only have one person’s approval to gain:

“The important thing is that you work for yourself, not for my approval. Not for my praise. But that you come to feel that doing well matters to you, and you become your most loyal fan, as well as your most severe critic.”

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How many times have we ignored that voice, only to regret it? At times we may have no choice; we have to take a less than ideal job to pay the bills. It doesn’t mean we forget about what our ideal is. Do not give up on yourself, don’t let your most loyal fan desert you. Follow your own internal compass and you will never lose your way.