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Openness | Undergrad Success

Openness

Ahhh… the key to your life. Openness.

What is Openness?

Openness might sound obvious, but your attitude toward openness means you remain free to experience new things and new people. It’s your ability to not judge others (or yourself) for the experiences you’re having. Openness is everything.

Why is openness important?

It’s the attitude necessary to learn new things, to meet new people, and to embark on new adventures. It’s the attitude that gives all other attitudes meaning.

Openness is everything.

Many people are afraid of being open and transparent. We’re quick to think others will judge us and try to use this information against us. It’s a really jaded approach to living. And it’s one we highly recommend against. Practice openness in all of your life’s adventures. Study/live abroad. Take a spontaneous weekend trip across the country. Apply for an internship you wouldn’t have immediately thought about. Do some volunteering. But remember… your ability to be open is everything.

How do you develop openness?

1) Get to know yourself – Do you really know what your strengths and weaknesses are? You ought to! You’ve been doing the Self Awareness exercises, right?

2) Share who you are with others – People are dying to have real conversations with open communication. Be willing to take the first step.

3) Ask bold questions – Listen to others. And never stop listening. This really should be #2. Get real with people. As number two suggested, take the first step. This applies to sharing and inviting others to share.

4) Stay open to everything – Staying open is hard. And it’ll never stop being hard. Stay open to whatever happens in your life. Stay open to change, open to people, and open to your own shifts in life.

Quick thoughts on openness in your job search:

Employers are tired of the old charade. “My weaknesses are actually strengths.” It’s not fooling anybody. Here’s how you can apply some of your newfound openness in an interview. Who are you as a person?

Prompt: “These are the talents I’ll bring to your organization…”

Quick note to jump-start thinking: “If I were a perfume/cologne, what would I be called and why?” This is why that’s important.

Prompt: “I’m an excellent team member, because…”

Quick note: Share your understanding of their company culture and your knowing of how important it is to mesh with the company ethos. Be genuinely interested.

Prompt: “I haven’t always been excited about jobs in the past. But here’s why I believe this is a good fit…”

Quite note: Share a story about why you weren’t a good fit in the past and how that affected your work. Be open about it. I’m a good bet for the future.

Prompt: “I had an idea for this project I know your company is working on…”

Quick note: Research a company and their current projects. Do some real research and bring some ideas to your interview. Deliver value.