Authenticity – On and Offline

Authentic. A word commonly used amongst millennials, authenticity is about so much more than how we represent ourselves on social media. Authenticity comes down to the way you treated the barista at your local coffee shop when you were in a rush to get to work. Authenticity is how you interact with coworkers, your bosses, and even, your family. Authenticity is holding yourself to a higher standard, even when no one is watching. In this post, we’ll explore what makes an individual authentic and moreover, how this authenticity can be carried from your life onto your social media pages.  

Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

Always speak + act as if your boss is watching… 

Okay, this one sounds silly but if you wouldn’t curse like a sailor and get fall over drunk in front of your boss, should you be doing these things in public? And if you are the boss, would you want your employees or clients seeing you make a fool of yourself? Similarly, you should never post photos or videos of yourself partying or participating in otherwise unprofessional behavior. Am I saying you can’t post photos of yourself with your girlfriends or your bros on a night out? No. However, you should always ask yourself the following two questions: Would I be comfortable if my boss saw this post? And Am I currently representing myself in a professional way?  If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” then you should probably take a step back and re-think what it is that you are doing.

Be Humble 

Are you celebrating a win? Did you close a deal or get a new client? That’s awesome! You should be proud. However, there is a large difference between being proud and boastful. Remember that with every win, you have been given a great opportunity and should be grateful.  Want to post that win online? Go for it but first, think about how you could go about this. Try using the following steps when posting or talking about a win: 

  1. Thank the individual, client, or organization that has given you the opportunity. 
  2. Make it about them – Talk about how excited you are to be given the opportunity to positively represent them and their brand. 
  3. Mention that you are excited for the future and your collaboration. 

Be Yourself 

This is arguably the most important part of being authentic. When you sign up for a WordPress.com account, the holder text for your first blog post is the following quote from Oscar Wilde:

“Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

While this seems so cliche, it couldn’t be more true. Taking the time to establish who you are, both as an individual and as a social individual, is extremely important for your brand and is key to representing yourself well. When posting socially, remember that people are more drawn to authenticity than to someone who pretends to be someone they are not. In person: always be true to yourself and present yourself with grace and understanding. You’ll find that people respond to individuals who are honest, kind and true to themselves. Online: Post content that you are proud of and with which you connect. If you passionately connect to your content, you’ll find that others will respond to your passion and your content and likely connect to it as well. Consider creating your own graphics and never, under any circumstances, take credit for someone else’s work. 

 As you can see, authenticity is integral to representing yourself in a professional manner. I hope these tools were helpful and will inspire you to move forward in your personal and business life with authenticity in mind. Have a question, comment, or even another tip? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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