Feb. 25, 2019

DO YOU POSSESS CHARACTER?

Too often, certain words seem elusive, vague, and nearly impossible to define….like the word: Character.  

Through the years, I developed what I call “picture-grams” ….instant photos that appear in my mind when I hear or speak certain words.  For instance, when I hear the word “character” used as a noun…I picture people I’ve known that were the essence of strength, integrity, power, leadership, honesty, and virtue. For me, anyone with character can never be swayed to choose wrong over right.  A person of strong character would stand firmly against evil.  Those with real character can never be “bought” for any amount of money. 

One of the most challenging “assignments” a person will have in their long career…will be to convince strangers that he or she possesses character. It’s not easy to say “trust me” to work in your company. Nothing is more difficult than to “blow your own horn” or ‘brag” about your character. 

Almost all of my life, I knew the stress of job hunting, preparing a resume, promoting myself on paper, and marketing my talents in job interviews. It’s never easy to “sell yourself” on the printed page but, it got easier with time. Most challenging was the ability to demonstrate my most valued assets like….honesty, dependability, integrity, trustworthiness and strong character….without using those exact words.

 Gradually, I learned to write with more structure.  I wrote about my  personal experience as a volunteer, my managerial responsibilities, my ability to compose employee handbooks, and my exerience directing leadership workshops. I utilized key words to demonstrate my diverse accomplishments.

 For me, the word that best describes character is honesty.  Because my resume was entirely honest, I never feared a job interview.  I could easily answer specific questions about my professional background because my resume was a truthful document based on facts.  AND, I prided myself on providing character references that were meaningful, solid, and never vague.

Looking back, I should have written a book called “how to broadcast yourself” based on a brilliantly-composed resume and memorable job interviews but….timing is everything. 

What I learned “back then” wouldn’t interest anyone in today’s generation.  These days, I doubt anyone worries about resumes or job interviews or establishing one’s character.  Honestly, who really cares about "looking good" on paper or in a face-to-face interview, anymore? 

 From my observation, most young people today are only interested in impressing the person at the other-end of their smart phone.