No, not literally.
It has been considered but I don’t think eBay would approve.
I’m talking about the art, for it is an art, of selling yourself, your abilities and talents.
I’ll stop there then.
You see ?. It’s hard to sell yourself when your self esteem is so low that nothing anyone says about you seems, actually, to be about you. You can’t see it and that makes the compliments sound weird, a bit false and that they should have been made to another person.
A colleague to whom I am exceedingly grateful has taken it upon themself to thrash my CV to within an inch of its life and shed some light in the darkness. She has done sterling work although, I must admit, what she sees in me I do not see in myself. That is not to be critical of her because I always feel it is far easier to write of others than it is of yourself. I can write wonderful references about others but can’t think of a single thing to praise in me.
I had a meeting yesterday to talk about my CV. I felt myself cringing and shrinking into my seat as I squirmed and twitched at the skills it is alleged I possess.
Do I have an analytical mind ?. Am I good at problem solving ?. Well it depends on the problem I said. And yes I over analyse things.
An ordered and logical approach to tasks ?. If the task is to chop a banana I suppose logically that dictates a knife and, err, a chopping motion ?.
Effective communicator ?. How do you judge effectiveness ?. Is that when people don’t have a glazed expression ?.
Now I may be these things. May be because I don’t know. I don’t recognise myself in the descriptions.
I was asked to list my achievements. That doesn’t include exams (though they aren’t anything special) so I squirmed and twitched some more, did a bit of sighing, looked at the ceiling, ummed and aaahed and then looked blank and admitted I couldn’t think of any. The person I was with didn’t help matters as he reeled of his environmental successes throughout South and Central America. There’s a big difference between those and mine which are basically getting up and into work every day!.
It really is hard to sell yourself on paper. Writing seems to diminish achievement to the status of the inconsequential unless those achievements are, I feel, academic or unique. Saying I’m a good listener or logical seems, at least to me, humdrum and ordinary fare. There’s nothing standing out.
And it’s not just on paper. You then have to convince people that what’s written about you is true.
“So Patrick, you say you’re an effective communicator. Can you give us an example of where you used effective communication to overcome a barrier ?”.
“Err, ummm, well…..err, ah, well…oh, ah, well..yes…err….”
Not so effective after all then ?.
Perhaps this is my introverted self speaking, the one that can’t blow it’s own trumpet, the basically shy but having to mask massively because I’m Autistic self. The one which can’t see anything good in myself/himself/themselves or whichever you’d prefer.
I really don’t know.
I have to sell myself.
I have to somehow be this person that other people see.
I only wish I believed even a fraction of it.