The Educated Ego

     With unemployment being so high these days it’s important to “sell” ourselves to the potential employer. We’re all in this game called “Life”. It’s been 4 months since I’ve been able to land a gig in radio. It’s not because I’m too picky on where I want to work, but it may be due to the way I thought I had to “sell” myself to the potential employer.

     During the interview process we all get asked the same dreaded question of “Tell me about yourself”.  I’m a firm believer not too  many people like to talk about themselves…unless they have a big ego. Today, I was proposed a question about the ego and being in the radio business versus being in the corporate world.  I was on Facebook and a friend asked me this question : ““Nikki, why is it in radio when you’re confident you’re considered having an ego, and in the corporate world having confidence means you’re educated?” My reply? Interesting concept, I’ll go ask the panel.” So, I asked “the panel” on Facebook. 

Here’s what “the panel” had to say…with their permission.

 – “It depends on HOW the confidence is displayed. Many times EGO is misread as confidence.”

 – “But in this business, if you are good, you have to have some ego, confidence. With out it, you are just average. So, I am an educated radio personality… call it what you want, just be great at it.”

– “There is a difference between ego and arrogance WITH ego. There is no room for a diva in any business….. and most divas DON’T have the talent to back it up. :)”

 – “Doing a great job every day, and being confident in doing it, nothing wrong with that. While some may see that as an EGO thing, it’s really more about what you see when the mirror reflects you back. I think the ego part may come in when you have air talent that always TELLS you how confident they are. When that happens, you have to wonder if maybe they’re not all that confident or talented to begin with.” 

      Then my reply came: “I’m lucky enough I’ve never been told I was a Diva or I had an ego. The problem is when PD’s automatically think you have an ego because a) you’re from a major market or b) you’re good on the air. I had a PD once tell me “here we all leave our ego’s at the door.” I was like “ok” but then I thought to myself what she was actually saying was “I know you think you’re all that because you’re from a major market but…I really don’t want to invest my time with you, or I don’t know how to make you better”. I think I’m educated enough to know the difference between real PD’s and those who fake it to keep their jobs. The one’s who fake it never make a decision and they pass the buck. The one’s who make it, take chances and help mold the air talent. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by great PD’s who helped shape the air talent I am today. I didn’t get this way alone. Does this make me egotistical or confident in my talent?”

      The next person continued in the thread by saying : 

– “That makes you confident in your talent. And that’s a very good thing.”

– “Having confidence is not the same as having an ego (they are not exclusive of each other). Having an ego (huge one that people talk negatively about) comes across as being a “Diva”. Thinking, or in the case of radio, talking about yourself all the time (as though the world revolves around you, and only you). Being confident just means you know what you are doing, know you can do the job, and know you can do it right. Sometimes confidence is misplaced, just as a huge ego can be misplaced, in that regard they are equal.

Does this answer your question?”

     Then I reply: “Yes. I see your point and I agree with you. How would you approach a situation (and this could help others too when applying for a job). How would you approach a situation where the interviewer asks the “horrible” question of “So tell me about yourself” ? I think sometimes in radio when we DO, do that it may come across egotistical. Any suggestions on how to answer this without sounding egotistical?”

     Then another person chimed in: “Nikki, somehow your response isn’t showing (but I did get the email with your question). When in an interview, you can be confident in your abilities, but to keep the ego in check by admitting you can’t do it all on your own. All the people in the background, that listeners never know about, help too. Talk about how you listen to others, incorporating their good ideas into your show, etc. That way you come across as confident, but not egotistical.”

Then lastly: “Listening! What a great concept that so many have forgotten.”

      So, after reading everyone’s comments, it led me to believe there is actually a difference in being educated and having an ego. If you’re smart you’ll know how to use your ego  to make it look like you don’t have one. If all you have is an ego then chances are, that’s the only thing you have to bring to the table for a potential employer. Anyone with a healthy ego knows, ego’s can be lifted, created, shattered and nurtured.

     When is it okay to display your ego? When do we say, “hey, I AM good enough for this position so why not hire ME”? Do we ever have that right to say that, do we even dare to say that? What if it’s your confidence speaking out loud and NOT your ego?

The way potential employers see us depends on how educated our ego has become.

Until Next Time,
Much Love,