On this throwback Thursday, we are highlighting a previous episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast that featured Joshua Cruz. In this episode, we explore his career journey as well as the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
Joshua Cruz is a proud Black Queer man whose life experiences and struggles with self-worth have led him to become a transformational coach who helps queer men of color to reclaim themselves and reignite their self-worth.
In this open and relatable conversation, Joshua takes us on a deep journey. He shares his struggles with self-worth, how doing inner work helped him find more confidence to be his authentic self and push past the fears, and how he realized he had a bigger calling to help others in his community.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“I add so much value as myself and I'm going to show up as that.” -Joshua Cruz
When Joshua went for an interview for an HR job position, he decided to show up as himself and as confident as he could at the time, but he was still terrified.
A part of him was concerned because there he was, a Black Queer man with a beard and no degree daring to show up with a shirt that showed his neck tattoo (things that seemed to be all “against” him). But despite that, he pushed through it. And he reminded himself that, whether or not they offered him the job, he was going to walk out of there with pride for having shown up as his authentic self.
During the interview, Joshua highlighted his strengths and what he had already accomplished without having a degree. And fortunately, the interviewer saw him and his value, and Joshua got the job.
“I never felt like I belonged on LinkedIn.” -Joshua Cruz
Joshua had LinkedIn for a while, but he never saw anything there that resonated with him. The content he saw was always related to credentials or sharing accomplishments such as graduations and job promotions. And because Joshua was not straight, white, or had a college degree, he didn’t feel like he belonged there.
For Joshua, LinkedIn did not seem like a platform that could serve him or a place where he could be professional as himself. And he realized that his feelings were also the feelings of many in his community. But, in due time, as he continued to dig deep and know himself, he found his voice and began to share the type of content he wanted to see more of on this platform for himself and his community.
“I felt my old picture was not an actual representation of who I was in this moment.” -Joshua Cruz
The journey of authenticity on platforms such as LinkedIn started for Joshua with a profile picture.
Before updating his profile, he had a professional headshot that showed a version of him that didn't feel true to him anymore. But after thinking about this for a while, he let go of all the frightening "what ifs" and he just did it.
Once he hit "post", Joshua had a new profile picture that showed his true essence along with an honest caption that expressed his point of view on professionalism and authenticity. And to his surprise, the positive response was strong and came from many people who resonated with him and felt inspired.
Joshua’s story resonates with many of us, and his determination to show up as himself even when fear creeps in is inspiring.
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