As of late, I'm seeing a lot of articles that tell us (women) what not to say, how not to dress, what not to do and/or how to be less of who we are.
What bothers me deeply is that there is so much talk about diversity and inclusion and yet, we still emphasize that it's simply unsafe for women to be their whole self.
How does this look like? We are told to be assertive and strong, but not too assertive, as this may come across as being aggressive, abrasive or harsh.
We are told that compassion, kindness and candor make great leadership traits, but being too much so will be seen as being a pushover, being weak and too nice.
We are being told that we should be honest in our interviews and business relationships, but not too honest, because making a mistake, or saying the wrong thing will cost you.
We are told to speak up and make our voices heard when injustices like gender discrimination happen, but when we do speak up we are seeing as nagging and being the squeaky wheel - and again, we'll pay the price for that.
According to "experts" we can't be introverts, we can't be geeks, we can't be above a certain age, be too serious, have a certain style or look a certain way, and I believe this to be untrue! Yes, you won't be able to be yourself in all of the places, but you will be able to bring your whole self to work in some and those are the ones you should look for.
I'm here to tell you that you are amazing just the way you are. I'm not telling you to stop evolving, or to stop being mindful or careless in your communication and treatment of others, but I am telling you that it is important to not lose yourself in the expectations society put on you.
If you are interviewing for a new job, be yourself! Interviewing/job hunting is very much like dating. Some people you'll click with, others you won't. Don't pretend to be someone you are not. I really do believe that being yourself is your strongest asset because diversity in thought, age, gender, race, background, opinion and experience is what makes you great, and an awesome company will recognize that.
Constantly having to censor what you say and how you say it, and censoring who you are will result in burn out and will definitely not result in happiness, no matter what the title or money offered to you. Do you really want to compromise your principles and values for a place that doesn't appreciate them?
Find the companies and leaders that inspire you and bring out the best in you and don't worry so much what you should and shouldn't say. Lastly, follow your instincts and stand proudly in who you are!