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Think Twice If You Want To Be A Crowd Pleaser

Think Twice If You Want To Be A Crowd Pleaser

I think there has been a time in our lives when we have wanted to be popular. In school, the prettiest girl always got all the boys, was invited to prom by the cutest guy, was awarded homecoming queen, etc. There’s something very desirable about being popular and all the attention that comes with it.

Social media is a great way to give yourself a self-esteem boost. You upload a new picture and you get a lot of attention on it, and the more likes you get, the better you feel about yourself. I think sometimes people often believe that people who are popular are the happiest. Contrary to popular belief, that is not always the case.

Your number of “likes’ does not define you

Let’s just say you’ve had a pretty bad day. Maybe you and your boyfriend broke up, you lost your job, or something else happened that made you feel like you’re at a really low point in your life.

But, on the bright side, you feel like you look good today so you take a quick selfie and post it on your social media. Over the next 24 hours you get a lot of likes and comments. All of this will make you feel better temporarily, and the more likes and comments you get, the more likely you’ll be perceived by others that you’re up pretty highly on the social ladder.

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What all these people don’t know is what happened during that day or how crappy you feel. It’s not uncommon to get lost in the completely fake world that is social media.

Do not envy those who are popular

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” – Buddha

You have to really sit down and think about this one. Think about a friend who you rarely see because they are constantly engaging in other social commitments. You would have to be okay with hardly ever having a moment to yourself, and you would have to keep up your image through social media.

Imagine how exhausting that must be. Not only do you have to maintain the life you lead off the internet, but then keep up with the one you have through the internet. You have to ask yourself this question, “what value will being popular add to my life?” The answer to this can be quite simple, we all want to feel a sense of connection and belonging.

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By trying to maintain a ton of relationships with people, you will most likely end up feeling worn thin and become unhappy and miserable.

Dr. Brian Gillespie, who is an assistant professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, discusses that by trying to maintain a relationship with a large number a people compared to your small core group of close supporters, you’re setting yourself up to suffer from something sociologists refer to as a “role strain”. Meaning when a person has many social obligations such as their giving their time and energy, they become frustrated and are unable to meet the expectations of their social role, such as being a friend.

Gillespie says, “it’s stressful when you’re trying to be too many things for too many people.”

He further goes on to discuss three main attributes that a good friend should have:

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  • emotional support (post-breakup talks)
  • instrumental support (helping you move)
  • companionate support (watching your favorite tv show with you)

Ideally, it would be great if a friend has all three, but it’s important to have at least two attributes. Friendships are about quality. When you surround yourself with people who have these, you will notice that your need to be accepted by many people will diminish. In fact, you may begin to prefer your circle to be smaller.

It could affect your health

As previously stated, by trying to maintain a number of relationships with people you not only tire yourself out mentally but also physically. In the short term, you may find that by always having plans to meet up with people throughout your day, you will eventually exhaust yourself. You lack sleep and resting time to recoup from all that exerted energy. Symptoms of depression can also set in when you’re always around many personality types and trying to attempt to keep up with the needs of those people.

Long term effects could be a bit more severe. The desire to try and please everyone can cause quite a bit of extra stress that is just unnecessary. You can become overexposed to cortisol as well as some other stress hormones that can disrupt most of your body’s processes. If this happens, you will have an increased risk of heart disease and digestive problems.

Social networks can just cause problems

Although many don’t want to admit how involved they are with social media, they are. Unfortunately, it’s the way we keep up with what everyone is doing. Can you remember the last time you went to dinner and didn’t check into the restaurant before even sitting at the table? Or do you remember the last time you ate your food before snapping a photo of it and posting it on Instagram?

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Social media can become far more important and complicated than it needs to be. Instead of focusing on letting everyone know what you’re doing when you’re doing it, take the time to fully enjoy the moment you’re in when you are in it.

If you’re going out to eat, leave your phone in the car. This will allow you to fully engage in conversation with who you’re at dinner with while also allowing you enjoy the time spent at the restaurant. The next time you feel yourself pulling out your phone to post something on social media, ask yourself if there’s really a reason to post what you’re doing in your personal life. You will be surprised at how much happier you’ll be when you keep many aspects of your life private.

Keep track of your social activities

It’s important to keep track of your social commitments so you can be aware of when you’re about to tire yourself out. It’s equally as important to realize the drastic difference between a friend and an acquaintance. You, of course, will want to spend more time with your friends because they will provide you with the most support. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend time with those you do not consider “friends” but rather not spend time with them frequently.

Everyone is different. It’s strongly encouraged to sit down and decide for yourself what your own personal social needs are. Truly analyze your relationships with people so that you are able to see who is a friend and who is an acquaintance.

In closing, please remember that you are not defined by the number of likes and comments you receive on social media. You are who you surround yourself with, and you want those people to be a genuine and sincere group. How many you consider a friend? That is for you to decide.

Featured photo credit: www.shuttershock.com via shutterstock.com

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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