Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Professional Insincerity

In my newish position in work, I am learning to do a lot more networking. I'm a pretty social, chatty person so talking to people is no big deal. But I find that I feel really drained afterword and I wonder if that is due to the work of maintaining a facade.

I like to meet new people and get to know them, I do. Any readers who have been to professional cocktail parties know that you don't really get to know people at these events. You make small talk with people while you size them up to see if they have any possible use to you. You exchange business cards and you follow up with those that seem promising. It's the insincerity that bothers me. At least when I used to chat up customers we all knew why: yes, I want to hear about your child's sports team, but I also really want you to continue spending your money with us. I also saw the same people more often and had more of a relationship with them.

I would be happy to sit down over tea and pastry and talk to almost everyone I met tonight. I'd love to get to know them. Instead, I spun around in a mad rush of handshaking and name tag reading. (By the way, I hate wearing name tags.) Insincerity is a pretty big deal for me. I left the church because I was tired of being insincere. Any suggestions for how I can do my job and still not feel like a fake?

I don't mean to sound too much like a whiner; I like my job and feel really fortunate to have it. Also, I did run into an old friend tonight who I haven't seen in years. Knowing how I feel about some of the people I saw tonight, I can't help but wonder if she meant it when we agreed to get together.

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