Fake It Til You Make It
I hate this piece of advice.
I’ve just returned from a month-long holiday in New York City and it was one of the more important trips for my personal growth and mindset.
Before I left, however, I was not in the right state of mind.
Since January up until the day I left — September 10th, 2016 — I was thrown into a frenzy within my corporate job. It was pretty much being in a shark tank with upper management telling you what you can and can’t do and then when you feel like you may be just a step away from securing what you’ve always wanted, they pulled that goal even further away from you.
You know how when you teach a baby to walk/crawl and you put a toy in front of them at a reasonable distance and then when they get close, you pull it a little further away? That’s exactly how it felt when I was trying to go for this role.
I jumped through so many hoops and put EVERY ounce of energy I had into learning and trying to do whatever I could to secure that role but it wasn’t enough.
On my last day at work before departing the country, I had my end-of-year performance review. Now, my manager is slightly younger than me (which reminds me sometimes of that Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansson movie) but the difference is, he’s completely incompetent and from all the rumours and office gossip I’ve heard, the way he got there wasn’t exactly the right way. You know that saying, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Well he knew the right people because even talking to ex-team members of his, most say that he did not deserve to get the role of manager. He just got lucky that no-one in upper management found out.
I know this is starting to sound like an episode of Gossip Girl so let’s get back to the facts and back to my Performance Review. The summarised version is that I didn’t get any reward for what I did during the past 8 months or so. NOTHING. No role, no pay rise, just the standard bonus (which is not much) that everyone else gets if they do their job right. My score for the year did not change one bit from the previous year so all that hard work, all that energy, the late nights, the early mornings, etc — It. Was. All. For. Nothing. NOTHING!
Sure, I was recognised for my efforts many times during those 9 months but to me, I’d rather they didn’t call my name out in front of the department and talk about why my name was called.
Show me that what I did for the past 9 months was worth it. Show me why I should keep putting in the effort. Show me why I shouldn’t just hand in my resignation letter tomorrow — which by the way, is a very tempting thought.
I need more than just a ‘Great job’ and a pat on the back.
All my peers knew that I was putting in the hard yards and whilst they all encouraged and supported me to keep going, they all thought what I did — that I would be moving on to a new [possibly, higher] role at the end of it.
So back to ‘Fake It Til You Make It’.
My new, younger team leader told me that whilst I was doing “a great job”, he didn’t see that I was hungry for it. (WHAT?) And he suggested that I follow the advice of ‘Fake It Til You Make It’.
He said ‘When you come back, I want to see you really fighting for the role and putting in the hard work.’
How about YOU put in some hard work?
I didn’t actually say that. But I wish I did. Let’s be real — I was basically doing his role. The team knew it. My peers knew it. I’m pretty sure he knew it too; he just didn’t want to admit to it.
I just nodded my head and walked out.
I was in utter disbelief about what had just happened. I was doing all the work and he was getting the credit for it.
Fake It Til You Make It.
Why do people give out this piece of advice?
What if I want to be my authentic, true self? Is that wrong?
More so than that, what does someone need to do in order to fake it?
Fake my personality?
With all the advice I’ve been given about which have been along the lines of faking it, and being yourself, I have been questioning who exactly I am.
I thought I knew, but now, I have no idea.