If you haven’t seen the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” you may not really understand where this line comes from. If this is the case, please accept my apology for this reference out of left field. It is an old movie, and it wasn’t a great one.
As opposed to the marketing and sales folks I have met over the years who never miss an opportunity to brag about what they have done, by and large the financial types I have known in great contrast are only brought kicking and screaming into the spotlight for their 90-seconds of fame.
Sure, “I was there,” they might say, “but I was only part of a team.” While this may be true, the team would have been rudderless. (I know you like sailing analogies, so I thought I would sneak one in.) Not only that, but the team would have been at a total loss as to how to measure what they were doing. (If they ever did get anything done.)
Our role as “the advisor to many” at times makes it hard for us to see how much good we are doing. This is all very well when we are part of a team. Our very well known modesty and tendency to share the spotlight gives us the “good offices” that cause all of the warring factions to use our council as a sounding board for their hair brained schemes. (Separating the hair from their schemes is one of the things we do best.)
While this “aw shucks” stuff works to our advantage in being seen as a team player, when it comes to job search it makes us appear not to have done anything significant in our entire career.
So in brief, get over it. Now is the time to go back over your career and revisit all of those projects with which you were involved and really think through your contribution. Ask yourself the question: Would it have gotten finished without you? And, if so, would it have been as impactful without the structure and analytics you brought to the party? I would venture a guess that the answer is no.
Money makes the world go around. And, the measurement of the monetary contribution of projects in which we were involved makes a difference. In fact, a significant difference.
Now I am not suggesting you can overnight become a well-respected blowhard, but you can with a little encouragement learn to explain your many real accomplishments to a captivated audience.
You have performed many miracles over the course of your career. You have pulled many an iron from the fire. You have also pulled many a rabbit from a hat. Now is the time to let the world know.
In the spirit of the movie “My cousin Vinny,” this is no time to blend. (Be honest, you have a lot to be modest about.) I should add that some people say: It ain’t bragging if it’s true.