Tag Archives: office politics

What Does a Multi Millionaire Look Like?

I pose the question as repeats of Patti Stanger’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” plays in the background. Immediately I picture someone dressed extravagantly, lounging in their decadent home, trying to figure out what to do with their time.

But, hello reality check. I seem to work with a few multi millionaires. I should have kind of figured that out (duh me) from the beginning, but I guess I’m a bit slow. Figuring this out doesn’t change my opinion of them at all (as I mentioned a bunch of times before, I really love the people I work with. The more I get to know them, the more I like the bunch!)

It’s just kind of crazy to me. Here I am at 24, feeling guilty for making $57k a year, give or take, and I’m working with people who, by the time they were in their mid-20s, already had, oh, a few hundred million dollars in the bank. At the least, it makes me stop feeling so damn guilty about wanting to make more money.

The cool thing about working for people who were so successful in the past is that you know they’re working for passion. My company is run by a lot of really successful people and I look up to all of them. It’s kind of crazy that I was just a wee little high schooler back when they were all making an internet product that I used frequently. And now, here I am, sitting in the same office as these brilliant folks, giving them my opinion on things.

I’m not quite sure what they all think of me. I really want to do a good job at this company, and to prove myself. I don’t think I’ll personally become a millionaire at this job, heck, I gave up any stock options on my latest contract in order to raise my monthly income by another few hundred dollars. I’m not complaining, really, it’s just that it’s tough for a… copywriter and community manager… to be valued in the same way, say, an IT person would. Which makes total sense — IT skills, esp top-notch IT skills, are worth a fortune. Copywriters are a dime a dozen. I think I’m a pretty good copywriter. I think I’ve found the right type of job for me.

My favorite part of my job is that I actually get to collaborate with people. Being a journalist was so damn lonely. I had to talk to people I didn’t know, which made me super anxious, and then the people I did know had no time to talk or work together to create something new. Now? If we’re all hitting a brick wall in the office in terms of new ideas, we’ll go into a conference room, down some candy and throw out ideas until we come up with something good.

That’s what I love. Being part of that collaborative process. There’s nothing better.

Anyway, I just realized that not only do I work with a bunch of rich people, I work with a bunch of multi-millionaires. I mean, I don’t know how much they all are worth, and that’s really none of my business, but the point I’m getting at is that you’d never know just by meeting these folks. They’re so laid back, t-shirt and jeans types. I hope that if I ever do become successful, on whatever level, I’ll be able to remain as humble and grounded as they are.

Lacking Charisma: Social Anxiety and Work

I’m bad at small talk and, despite my desire to be well-liked, I lack adequate amounts of charm and grace. Looking back on my job positions over the past five years, I see a disheartening trend: my failures are more or less due to my desire to limit human interaction as much as possible in any given period of time.

Silicon Valley is all about the small talk. The inside jokes, the laughter. I probably seem like I’m stuck up because I don’t know how to just chat. Either I feel like I’m talking too much, or I feel like I’m boring the person I’m talking to with questions.

I feel like I do well on my job interviews. I seem personable enough. Then it comes to the actual ‘work’ part of a job… and I just want to work and be done with it. Well, that’s not entirely true, I love collaboration… working in small teams… when my ideas seem to be worth something and I can help contribute to a final product. That’s when I like talking to other people. But otherwise… I just crawl back into my shell.

It really, really sucks. I just want to be that girl that’s always smiling who everyone likes. Maybe I’d annoy some people because I’m just so perky, but when they figured out that the perk was genuine they’d have to like me, at least a little bit, right?

But instead I have trouble making eye contact and forming sentences that seem to resemble phrases that might generate some sort of interest.

I don’t know if there is something ‘wrong’ with me or if I’ve turned myself into this anti-social monster. Sometimes I wonder if I have some kind of autism. I’ve never been good at socializing. When I was a kid, I’d only want to talk to adults, and that wasn’t because I liked talking to adults more, it’s just they’d forgive me for being awkward in exchange for accepting that I hadn’t reached puberty.

How much of growing up ‘the cootie girl’ influences ones ability to succeed down the road? There are so many voices in my head telling me that I’m a failure, and it’s hard to shove them all out and achieve some sort of clarity.

At my job, I go into the office, I basically run to my desk, and then I work all day, and then I go home. I’m too afraid to even say goodbye to people. I just appear and disappear. That’s no good for making employers want to keep you on as a worker. And don’t even get me started about why I should have never attempted to pursue a career in journalism with social anxiety…

Do you all think that charisma and charm are traits I can take on, or should I just try really hard to learn some super-specific geeky skill that pretty much requires me to be a recluse?