Fake It Till You Become It: Tips On Getting It Together

Fake It Till You Become It: Tips on Getting It Together

Fashion PR Girl Last week I woke up late. I fell out of bed and ran outside to hail a cab in the pouring rain. I was the girl running through puddles while stuffing phone, wallet, and breakfast into her purse. I put my makeup on in the back of a cab because that was my Monday. Those are the days I stop and say to myself, “Girl, you need to get it together.”

Most people have a vision of what it looks like to have their business in order, because everyone knows at least one of “that girl.” The girl who strolls into work early. The girl who has a smile on her face. That girl who knows what’s going on in the world. I’m a big proponent of the mantra “Fake it ‘till you make it.” I recently heard a different version that, while it doesn’t have the same ring, probably sums it up better: Fake it ‘till you become it. Getting it together probably won’t happen overnight (please, I know myself better than that), but you can take baby steps toward it every day while avoiding putting contacts in while sitting in the back of a cab.

Wake up early

I think people who exercise in the morning are magical gods and goddesses who possess powers beyond my wildest dreams. Your bed is calling, and sticking two toes out into the world from under the warmth of your sheets feels like a nightmare. But going for a run or doing living room yoga, taking a relaxing shower, and making breakfast before heading out to greet the day is the equivalent to drinking a gallon of coffee when it comes to happiness and productivity. So get up when the birds do – you will thank yourself.

Quick Tip: Waking up in the middle of a pleasant REM cycle can make an early morning feel like torture. Sleep Time, an app available on the iPhone, is an alarm clock that monitors your sleep cycles and wakes you up at just the right time, leaving you much more refreshed, even on the earliest of days.

Read anything you can get your hands on

Blogs, LinkedIn articles, newspapers, anything. Head to your RSS feed over breakfast because it’s good for your brain. Also, it will get you well-acquainted with good writing on a daily basis and will allow you to identify thought leaders within your space. Blogs aren’t just for 2am Ben and Jerry’s-fueled venting sessions anymore. Professionals use them to share career advice and analysis of industry events.

Quick Tip: Bloglines is a super easy-to-use news aggregator. Follow industry blogs, career blogs, and blogs just for the sake of blogs. My favorites are Your Coffee Break, Career Goddess, Secrets of the Job Hunt, and Joy the Baker.

Follow current events

You don’t have to pore through every article of the Times, but if someone in the break room mentions the headline of the day, you should probably what they’re talking about. I’m talking to you, Mr. or Ms. What-Even-Is-Syria. Be a conscious citizen of the world and figure out what’s going on in Turkey because that is important.

Quick Tip: The Daily Skimm is a current events newsletter that delivers the most up-to-date news right to your inbox every Monday through Friday. Check it on your commute to work or right when you get in the office for a quick five-minute update on what the rest of the world is up to.

Participate in the conversation

Twitter is an excellent tool for thought leadership. Share an interesting article you read earlier in the day (see what I did there?) and with a click of the Tweet button you have immediately connected with hundreds or thousands of people with similar interests. If you are interested in social media, Tweet a link to a recent study about SEO. If you are interested in social enterprise, post about what Warby Parker is up to. Don’t be shy – Twitter is all about the conversation.

Quick Tip: Tweet at everyone – companies you frequent, products you use, and publications you read. Read an awesome Huffington Post article this morning? Tweet about it, and Tweet at @HuffingtonPost and the journalist who wrote the article. That’s how to get your name out there on the Twittersphere (is that a word?).

Let’s be real — no one really has it together. But feeling good about your body and your brain can help you put your best professional self out there every time you go to the office. Even “that girl” has slept-late-crazy-hair-frazzled-mess days, and it’s up to you to embrace those days and let those days happen. It’s okay to be a hot mess sometimes. But we owe it to ourselves to fake it until we become it.

Lindsey Sampson

Lindsey Sampson is a student at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently studying International Affairs and Business and hopes to combine the two with a career in social enterprise. Her passion lies in innovative social business and social media as a marketing tool. She lives in Boston and enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and exploring the city. Follow her on Twitter @lindseygsampson.


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