The Power of Authenticity In the Workplace

I walked onto the 15th floor of a soaring office tower for a prominent Fortune 100 company. My resume already established my aptitude for the role, but the General Counsel requested a quick meeting to assess "fit."

I was there to pitch my legal services, but after about five minutes, the conversation graduated into a question about why I wanted the role. By the way, the role was approximately 20-30 hours per week, mostly remote.

I hadn't made a practice of sharing the real reason why I wanted part-time roles. Frankly, the legal profession has a reputation of 50+ hour work weeks, so while I wasn't lacking in confidence about my abilities, I was momentarily afraid to disclose why I wanted a part-time role: I wanted time to spend time with family and explore music. I chose to answer honestly. They way I see it, I wouldn't be happy in the long run pretending to want something that I didn't.

To my surprise, the General Counsel shared how he'd always wanted to explore other things too. He spoke about how he was tired of missing his son's soccer games for last minute work meetings. I appreciated the opportunity to connect with him on a human level. I left the building knowing we had enjoyed an inspiring discussion but uncertain whether I'd get the role.

His assistant called to offer me the position, and I hadn't even left the parking lot. I decided right then to lean in toward freedom, even if it cost me a role in the future. 


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