Never apologise for who you are or your background!

Too often in television people like to put down and question people’s experience, “oh you’ve not got much experience?” “Oh if you had more of a background in this..” Or my favourite, “having worked in television for 25 years i know and you have only been in TV for 5 minutes”. It’s that power play game that equates to I have a better car than you, or back to primary school my dads stronger than your dad.. Why do people feel the need to constantly justify their career whilst putting down someone else?

First of all you can’t change the past! The path that you have taken is done. People may have taken a different path but they haven’t walked a mile in your shoes. They don’t know what you’ve dealt with, struggled with and overcome. So embrace your past and whatever someone says about it, it’s none of your business. Those are their issues being projected. Don’t hide from your past but don’t live in it and don’t let it be the only thing that defines you.

I have interviewed many a northerner with a cut glass posh English accent to rival princess Margaret and then they’ll say one word and I’ll be like “hey your a scouser” then they feel rumbled. I know sometimes changing everything about yourself might get you ahead but isn’t that tiring and inauthentic and just too much effort.

Never feel ashamed by your success. Don’t be apologetic for what you have achieved. You’ve achieved it, be proud! I remember one of my trainees ringing me up really upset after being offered their dream job. I asked why? She said “I can’t take this job as Barbara (not her real name) is really upset, she really wanted this job and she’s really upset with me, maybe I shouldn’t accept it as actually I think Barbara might be better”. Now I unleashed a whole lot of hell no on my trainee, I wanted her to realise that she got that job on her merits, she was the perfect person for the job. The rest was just peer pressure and sour grapes from Barbara! Don’t let other peoples jealousy stop you from being proud of how far you’ve come!

If you rise up the ranks quickly and move into a senior role at a young age you may be faced with more of that jealousy. A good friend of mine who did just that, has faced a barrage of “how did you get that job so young”, “why have you got that without as much experience as such and such”. This makes my blood boil, why can’t we be pleased for people? You may be disappointed you didn’t get the job
Or feel you could have done a better job, but karma’s a bitch so be grateful and be nice.

There is a British sensibility that makes us self deprecating and almost apologetic for success. It’s as if we say we are proud or even grateful for our success then we feel like we are being arrogant or simply too big for our boots. Forget that mentality and say you know what I achieved that I’m proud. I have lots to learn and I’m going to do a great job but hell yeah I’m really pleased!

You are working hard, ambitious and achieving be proud, grateful and humble about that!



5 thoughts on “Never apologise for who you are or your background!

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