The Challenge of Being Yourself

Krasi Shapkarova

Krasi is Carey the Torch's Editor-in-Chief and also represents the Career Development Office in Washington, D.C., working with students on career exploration and development. Krasi holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a Master of Arts in International Human Rights from the University of Denver.

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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a university career coach, I often hear the following question during mock interview sessions: What should I say so the employer can like/choose me? I get it. The job search process is tough and when students succeed in securing an interview, they want to do what’s necessary to be invited for a second one or even better, to be extended an offer. Conducting industry research helps with identifying the traits valued by employers in one’s field of choice. What a student finds during her industry research, however, needs to match what she has found about herself in the self-discovery process. If she is not who an employer is looking for, and spends more time worrying about what they want her to say than saying what she wants to say, she is more likely to be rejected as whatever she says, it just won’t seem genuine. Being oneself is a challenge, but it ultimately leads to finding the happiness within (a.k.a. a path that maximizes one’s capacity and brings meaning to one’s life). That said, to be genuine does not mean to do whatever you like in an interview–you still need to look and behave like a professional!


Want to find out who you are and how best to present your brand to potential employers of interest? Consider scheduling a coaching appointment with a career coach.

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