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Being Authentic Leads to Happiness

When I did a search on ”Authenticity” on my LinkedIn personal page, 140,474 people showed up in my feed. In other words, there are a lot of people out there in social media that are characterized in one way or another as being  “authentic.”  Who determines what makes someone authentic? Is it the opinion of others? The company? Friends and family?  This led me to do research on what makes people stand out from the rest in a crowd, specifically in a candidate pool in any organization when hiring leaders and recruiters are reviewing resumes.

Back in the day when I was a corporate recruiter, the “DNA” of a candidate was a major factor in analyzing who would be a good cultural fit. Assessments such as GallupPeopleAnswers and Myers Briggs were given to candidates to help companies determine if they would be a “fit” for a given position.  At times, there was controversy amongst decision makers if the results of an assessment did not reflect if a candidate was a match.  The opinions of HR, recruiters and hiring leaders along with the results of the assessment led to a decision if a candidate made it to the next step in an interview process.

My current research identifies 4 key factors on assessing a match/cultural fit between a candidate and a company:

  •  Experience Assessment:

Defining types of knowledge areas, behaviors, skills, experiences, and motivations necessary to build and manage a successful workforce in alignment with business goals. Competency Modeling provides one of the key foundations for developing human resource initiatives, including sourcing, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, succession planning and performance management.

  • Individual Assessment:

Processes to accurately assess an individual’s characteristics and identify strengths and areas for development. Assessment results along with expert consultative feedback helps organizations find, develop, promote and redeploy talent that is aligned with the characteristics of the job.

  • Group Assessment:

Cultivating relevant performance-based criteria and business outcomes, enabling companies to build, develop, and measure high-performing teams.

  • Business Assessment:

Assessment results build, grow or maintain competitive advantage through understanding and managing key workforce indicators such as engagement, culture dynamics and adaptability to change which are linked to critical business metrics such as productivity, performance, and profit.

Being “Authentic” in your career can be challenging and a bit tough at times.  Trust me, I know,  since  I found myself becoming unauthentic over the past 2 years. After leaving a corporate culture I loved where I spent 12 1/2 years in various roles, I chose to venture into other market segments and experience different work cultures. I needed a new challenge and felt I would learn to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” (Still one of my all time favorite sayings.) As a result of professional changes and some serious health challenges I faced, it was hard to be truly happy and I ended up losing my authenticity. My advice: DO NOT LOSE YOURSELF to a company’s corporate culture or when things in your life do not go exactly peachy.  In other words, if you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, it just will not fit.  That is why I strongly believe matching a cultural fit between a company and a candidate is absolutely the #1 objective for both parties. If used correctly, talent assessments can be a great indicator or lead-in for hiring leaders and recruiters, but it should not be the main indicator.  There are countless examples where a new hire is coming from a competitor and tries to “fit in” to a culture, even though they are working with a similar product or brand, and they complain 3-6 months later “it just does not fit. “ It is a hit on both ends of the spectrum as a result of a company investing in cost per hire initiatives, training, retention/turnover statistics and mentoring.  Companies and candidates need to take time, energy and patience during the interview process to learn about each other’s cultural preference.

A few weeks ago, I was texting with a high school friend about our careers and what we are currently doing. When I told her I left a Big 4 firm in September to start my company Resumes4Life, her response was “I always remember you being so authentic.” After I thought about her comment, I realized that is one of the best compliments someone can give me.  One of the reasons I wanted to start my own company is to help people, help themselves, whether they are a business owner looking to staff positions to a mom returning to the workforce.  For example, what makes me happy in my career is staffing and recruiting for companies who need placement services, while empowering candidates to find the right cultural fit.

 The most important thing about authenticity is this: No matter what life throws at you including the good and the bad stuff, do not lose what makes you be you. Whether you are looking to make a change in careers, or have challenges in your personal life, remember to take a step back and truly reflect on what makes you happy. Once you determine that, you will succeed and be authentic at anything you do in life.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


R4L Blog

Professional Involvement

Director of Social Engagement at Social Sales Network

Member of Philadelphia Jewish Business Network

Member of ADP Alumni Group

Consultant for Fortune 100 , 200 and 500 companies on how to effectively hire top talent and best practices on creating a professional brand on LinkedIn.

Community Involvement

Special Olympics of Montgomery County

Career Coach volunteer at The Jewish Federation of Southern NJ

Volunteer for several high school and college students for guidance, providing introductions for internships in a specific market.

Job Coach volunteer for special needs adults.