Value Yourself!

Today I’ve got to talk about Diane…not her real name.

Diane is a wonderful woman with a solid professional background. I met her recently at a networking event. I sat beside her, actually. She immediately struck me as professional, smart and kind. During that meeting I was impressed enough to suggest she contact a company I might be able to help her gain some traction with.

Shortly after that meeting Diane did the right thing and followed-up with me so she could figure out the best way to move forward with my suggestion. Her call landed in my voice mail. When I played her message, her introduction made me want to weep.

“Hi Lisa. You probably don’t remember me. This is Diane. I met you at the (blank) group…” Probably don’t remember her?!?! How could I not remember her? She sat right beside me…3 days prior. We had a conversation.

So here is this fabulous woman who either doubts¬† my memory capabilities or, as I suspect is the real problem, doesn’t value herself enough to believe she’s memorable.

Diane is hardly alone. I get the same type of lead-in on emails and voice mail messages frequently. So many of the job seekers I encounter are struggling to believe they could possibly matter to others. This economy has done a number on the egos of countless professionals. The trouble is, once individuals convince themselves they aren’t valuable to others, they are susceptible to having those thoughts affect their actions. They pull back on applying for jobs that seem out of reach. They refrain from reaching out to people in influential circles because they are concerned about wasting those individuals’ time.

Perhaps Diane’s choice of words was a one time slip. Hard to say. What I want her to know is that I do indeed remember her. The impression she gave me from the start was solid. If she has any doubt in her mind that people she meets will hold on to the fact they did so, she can stomp on it. It doesn’t belong in her job search. She can skip the “you may not remember me” with the next person she follows up with.


  • Tammy says:

    In workshops were people learn how to sell themselves, I have found that there are those job seekers who feel that they need to act humble in order to avoid being boorish. Women have told me that they feel very awkward and uncomfortable recognizing their accomplishments because they grew up in a world where this kind of behavior was not admired. Saying that “you probably don’t remember me” reveals someone who does not assume their importance to others. It may be a matter of just showing good manners. Could this be a form of false modesty in order to preserve a “proper” image?

    I’m in total agreement with you that this competitve economy has left the very accomplished and competent with their tattered egos on the ground! People are losing faith in themselves and blaming all kinds of things as to why they can’t find a job as easily as they did before. There are many very valuable and capable people out of work right now who are trying very hard, but are only human.

  • Lisa says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Tammy. You’ve made a good point. Perhaps an attempt at good manners is at play. I still contend, as I’m guessing you agree, job seekers can exhibit confidence and still have good manners. “Lisa, this is Diane. We sat next to one another at the (blank) meeting…” is that polite reminder without suggesting the other person likely won’t recall who they are.

  • Tammy says:

    Yes, yes, yes. I hope many readers learn from this lesson. You can indeed exhibit confidence without being offensive, rude or self centered.

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