Best behavior getting me down — and perhaps letting me down?

by Radio Somewhere

A couple of days ago I wrote about the strain of having to be on my best behavior everywhere I go as I try to network my way onto a new career path. I really think I’m going about it the right way. I’m even working with a career coach and a supportive group of people. But I still feel that I might be going about it the wrong way — for me.

I’m a reasonably smart person (I have a few pretty diplomas that attest to it) and I have some decent job skills, such as data analysis and computer stuff. But I also have a bit of a creative edge — and I’m either eccentric, flaky, or both! I am usually working hard at keeping this eccentric, flaky self hidden so that I can present myself as a serious, competent, career-minded type.

I am remembering something Michael Caine said regarding his role in the film Educating Rita (1983) in which he played a boozy professor. He said that one of the hardest things to do as an actor is play a drunk person when you’re sober. The trick is to actually do it in reverse — pretend that you’re a drunk person trying to act sober. (If you think about it, most of us have had much more practice at that!!)

So perhaps I’m going about this wrong. I need to pretend to be a dead serious, quantitative type trying hard to be a flaky eccentric with a wicked sense of humor. Then my understanding of statistical methods might make me look like a mad genius!

As it is, I think I just sound boring — and not so smart with it either!