How’s your ego? It can be an incendiary word that is used almost exclusively in the context of self-importance but in fact it means, more literally, one’s sense of self-worth which could be high, low or somewhere in between.
Where ego becomes a problem is when it doesn’t tally with the reality. I’m sure we’ve all met that person who talks exclusively about themselves, their achievements, their successes and their significant place in the world and we’ve found that person pretty irritating. In the UK particularly, we have a horror of boasting and have a general expectation that people who do amazing things should be modest about it.
However, if you are trying to get a new job or role, looking to become involved in a new project or seeking to support up-and-coming talent, it’s necessary to promote yourself. It’s also necessary to fit your talents to the vacancy in question. Calculating how good a fit you are is one of the trickiest things to do; some people underestimate their suitability, others overestimate it. Getting it right is an art.
So have a think about your motives:
I believe my colleagues view me with: (a) resentment (b) respect (c) admiration (d) adoration
I want this new role because: (a) I’m bored (b) I want respect (c) I want validation (d) I want to be more important
In this new role I will: (a) earn more money (b) earn respect (b) learn new things (d) be very important
I am qualified for this role because: (a) it’s the same as what I am already doing (b) it’s a natural progression in my career (c) my skill set will bring a new dimension to it (d) I like the sound of it
To gain this role I need to: (a) get through this interview (b) show my skills to best advantage (c) learn things about it first (d) tell them how I’m going to improve their lives
Once I’ve got the role I will: (a) hang on to it (b) network (c) develop my skills (d) take over
I imagine you know that the ‘correct’ answers are not As or Ds but If you can be really honest about your motives and your abilities – and things like pride and ambition are not necessarily wrong – you have a much better chance of finding the right role AND being the right person for it.