Why Being Too Professional is Overrated (As Illustrated by Chrissy Teigen)

Lately I’ve watched closely as the world falls in love with Chrissy Teigen, wife of John Legend, supermodel, and hilarious tweeter. I’ve loved Chrissy for a while, but it’s so interesting to me to watch the world catch on. We can learn something about Chrissy’s “shoot from the hip” brand of humor. She says what she thinks, she doesn’t try to be too professional, and she has personality. Yet she’s adored.

When you’re going through school and learning about how to get a job and whatnot, your professors and mentors tell you to be professional. Don’t post pictures of you being a drunk idiot on Facebook because no one will want to hire you. This is true. But professors and other well-meaning older and wiser people have scared us into being too bland and generic. We’re all so focused on protecting our careers that we tone down our true personalities. The success of off-the-cuff, honest people like Chrissy just drives the point home that personality is okay. In fact, it’s great! Have some!

When I first started blogging, I was seriously writing about Starbucks’ marketing decisions. I’m not even joking. That was the first post I wrote. You probably fell asleep as you were reading that sentence, so as you can imagine the blog didn’t get a lot of traffic. Then my dad told me that I needed to spice it up. He explained that I was trying to be professional, but was actually being boring as hell. And he was so right. Sure, what I was writing was totally sterile and non-offensive, but it also had no personality. It could have been written by anyone.

From that point on, I decided to be who I really am and write how I talk. Sure, I’m not going to go hurling F bombs or sharing stories of drunken debauchery. That would be unwise. But I’m going to express my sense of humor and talk about things that I’m really going through. Once I started doing that, people started reading this blog and e-mailing me and connecting with me. I was no longer some boring, faceless girl trying to use a blog to brand herself. Maybe I reminded them of someone they know. They could relate to me.

Regardless of whether you have a blog or not, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Show it when you tweet or when you go in for a job interview. Show it when you’re calling potential clients and when you’re out on dates. People want to do business with/date/work with people who are human and have a personality and sense of humor.

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