Professionalism & Authenticity - Joel Velez

Professionalism & Authenticity - Joel Velez

On ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves. We would love to feature everyone in our community on their own episode. That said, we publish one episode a we created a story submission option for people to self-publish & share their experiences with the world. 

Tell me about a time when you repressed parts of your authentic self?

Joel Velez - Back when I was a jobseeker, I had repressed my authentic self to the fullest whenever it came to joining any group conversations on career talks. Specifically when I was looking for entry level roles at hotels as their front desk receptionist I had joined a few online hospitality groups that gave general interview tips so I then took the initiative to have a family member be my sponsor and get me called in for an interview after applying for the role. I got the interview, showed up thinking “I’m finally gonna break my 6 month unemployment streak and take down the green banner” but life said otherwise. When I showed up to the interview that was conducted in a casual manner, I was asked the following “What is your living situation like? Are you single? Are you able to commute?” After just answering the second question I followed up with this question “What does the team culture look like here?” It started off smooth but then the convo turned left when the interviewer said “We pride ourselves on having strong open communication with each other even to the point when my work colleague at the front desk told me you showed up they also let me know that you’re just like me” basically pointing about me being open with my queerness. Another instance I had of this moment too was when I was an intern for a in-state org and when I had asked my manager during my performance review “what drew you and the team to bring me on if I may ask” that was prompted from wanting to hear what strengths did they see in me which was followed by “To be honest we were going to go with the other candidate but since they did not want to go with the pay we were offering we decided to go with you. Consider yourself lucky.” All to say that having encountered a lot of those career moments had diminished my self-esteem to the max to the point that whenever I did have an idea I wanted to share with the group I always sought permission from others to hear “That is a great idea.”


When do you feel the most comfortable being your authentic self?

Joel Velez - I feel most comfortable being my authentic self whenever I get to openly share myself through public speaking. To be able to share in an open and semi-controlled space makes me feel so empowered to bring out truest self especially if it’s an opportunity to share my knowledge. Specifically whenever I get to talk creative and strategic with people within interactive community groups like Tribaja where you’re given the freedom to enter into mini group channel spaces that touch on topics that don’t make you feel like you have to be this subject matter expert. 

What would give you the confidence to be your authentic self, regardless the environment?

Joel Velez - What gives me the most confidence to be my authentic self is my new drive to engage and learn about all aspects the world. The main clutch I will say that has helped me stay reveling in being myself is taking each day to do prayer/manifestation sessions where I always say out loud to myself what passion or value do I want to manifest out loud to everyone today.


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