Before I go any further with this post, let me say that I support equal rights for everyone and have no feelings against gay marriage. I shouldn’t even have to disclose that, but I really don’t want to have to wade through misdirected hate mail.
Despite all the hubbub and grating media attention (does Donald Trump really need another platform?), there are lessons to be learned from the recent Miss California vs. Perez Hilton scandal. And, yes, they are very applicable for those networking and on the job hunt.
Carrie Prejean absolutely had a right to express herself in the Miss USA pageant. Why did she have to spout off a politically correct answer when she obviously has strong opinions in one clear direction? Do we really want our girls looking up to women who play it safe and display no gumption when it comes to their beliefs? After all, freedom of speech is one of the most important rights we have as U.S. citizens, and everyone should be allowed his/her opinion.
The same goes for those out on the job market. First of all, unless you’re interviewing for a position at a related non-profit or religious organization, you should not have to defend any personal beliefs–nor should you have to address them in the first place.
So, don’t be afraid to be real. Be yourself. That’s the only way you’ll land in a place you embrace and choose to grow in your career. You should be proud of who you are and where you work. It speaks volumes and shows potential employers and clients that you’re a quality gal with integrity.
And if you don’t win a job or work position because of your beliefs? Then you can’t dwell on it. It may mean you’re meant for different, perhaps better things. Miss USA – or your employment equivalent – may not be the be all and end all of life. Put things in perspective!
(Photo: AP/Eric Jamison)