By Beth Kujan, Morris County Career Network
Particularly now that I am weaving together contract jobs, I find myself scrutinizing the role I need to play in a given situation. When I’m selling myself as an expert applying analysis and proposing solutions I should be fashionably dressed and confident in my bearing, right? As a solo consultant, I’m a brand. Brands need to differentiate and be memorable.
However, when I’m selling myself as a “girl Friday” who will manage an array of tasks, I should be warm, dependable and plain. More cooperation and success come when a team member fits in. The stand-out needs to be my boss, thanks to my good work.
When I’m selling myself as an instructor, I need to be somewhat in between – interesting enough to keep a group engaged, or at least awake, yet not so flashy as to distract from the material. Classes to whom I speak are there to learn technical material. They have to leave articulate and capable of certain calculations. They don’t actually have to be happier than when they came in.
There’s nothing unethical about making quick role changes during a week, or even during a single day. Yet, I do feel glum about my proper logo being a chameleon on a weathervane.
Until I watched Kate VanDevender. In her web comedy, The Actor Diaries, Kate lets us walk through the audition process with her.
In episode one, “THE AUDITIONER,” I picked up a new sales angle: Safety issues are my only limitation. (!!!) By the time I got to episode four, I found myself wishing I had Kate’s gumption; she changes role in costume.
In comedy there are always huge debacles. In real life, Kate VanDevender has landed a pilot. Like my contract gigs, it’s only a pilot. Still, it’s worthy work – comedy.
A pilot doesn’t always proceed directly to a series. Sometimes it just makes the right contacts to land another project. I’m rooting for a direct win for Kate. She’s still living in a house with roommates, yet I have no doubt she’ll eventually have more than rent money. Shape-shifting as smoothly as she does, she inspires me to do the same.
Beth Kujan is a carbon accountant. She helps run the Morris County Career Network, which meets at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.