A new friend tweeted – “you are the person I think of when I am after statistics”.
Though flattered, I never really see myself as a statistician. It doesn’t matter that I worked in marketing for the last seven years, some see me as a numbers man because for a variety of reasons that’s the way they experienced my work and brand. Yes, there are many who sees me as a marketer, some may know me as a blogger, some as a cricket tragic, and so on and so forth.
The truth is we are who people think we are. It doesn’t really matter what you think of yourself. What matters is people’s experience with your brand or service, and what they think of you as a result.
Much of the friction in our industry – job seekers vs. recruiters, agencies vs. employers, social networks vs. job boards, the list goes on – can be traced to the disconnect between people’s perception of one another. For no fault of his a good recruiter is dismissed because the client he is targeting, as a result of previous bad experience, thinks recruiters add little value. Scorn is poured on an employer for daring to dictate how they do business, because it contraststed with how some recruiters think business should be done. Last week I listened to an entrepreneur’s plan for a new job board. But, before he even launched, many already don’t like what he is trying to do.
It’s not always fair, but that’s the way it is sometimes. People view you and your company, and life in general from their own past experiences.
So what to do if others already have an unflattering opinion about you (assuming you are not at fault)? Two different paths exist. Re-educate people and try to change what they think of you (e.g. we do recruitment differently, here’s why). Which is not impossible but can be a very lengthy and expensive task (remember, millions are poured into advertising daily to try to change perceptions). Alternatively, try to delight someone else who does not already have an opinion of you.
I’d go for the second option. What about you?