Punching Above Your Weight
Everybody starts somewhere, but there’s plenty of situations in life where you need to look like you’ve got it a little more together than you do. Whether you’re courting the opposite sex, scoring a dream job, or itching to play with some toys that are out of your league, sometimes you have to cut in line. Here’s Swagger’s 5 Best Ways to Fake it ‘Till You Make It.
In the Interview:
Tread carefully on this one, lying in the interview/on the resume can get you in a lot of trouble down the road for which you won’t be able to talk your way out of. Don’t lie, but for god’s sake embellish. Any job worth having is going to be lousy with applicants, so you want to make sure you’re the obvious choice, and the only way to do that is to do your homework. Find out about something your target company has done, a project, charity work, anything they’re involved in that wouldn’t be obvious, and read up on it as much as you can. The trick is to ask a handful of really good questions about this stuff before you’ve even gotten into the “what are your greatest strengths” streamline bullshit. Get them answering interesting, even complicated questions about their business and you’ll look like an engaged, interested employee they won’t have to spend a year getting up to speed. All it took was a few smart hours on Google beforehand.
On the Prowl:
After the tech bubble burst, common wisdom amongst the golddigging set was that shoes and a watch made the man/mark, and as quick as thinking the market for knockoffs flew through the roof. Forget all that: a woman of taste who’s looking for a man of means is now only looking for one thing: An attitude. In case you’ve been too busy to notice, the last five years have changed the game for everyone, and women want to be the aggressors. Let them. The best way to appear higher on life’s totem pole is to act like you’ve already got everything you need. Imagine where you’re going to be in five years, and grin tonight like you’re there already.
Dress nice without looking like you’re out to impress anyone, when your eyes meet across the club, smile, and watch the mountain slide on over to Mohammed. Brave New World indeed.
At the Dealership:
Maybe you’re in the market for an entry-level vehicle, but you want to test-drive the best beast on the lot. Easy peasy; a little bit of acting will get you the keys and all the attention from salespeople you could ever want. Come to the lot around 3:30-4:00, wear a suit but lose the tie and smile like you just won the Superbowl. You’re a Young Turk whiz kid who just nailed the meeting of a lifetime and you’re ready to spend that big hulking bonus you just won. Be ready to tell a vague, happy story about your stellar career in a niche industry to the nervous baby boomer salesman in the passenger seat as you break the speed limit like it was a bad habit. Don’t feel bad, it’s the car you’re going to buy soon enough.
You find yourself at a cultural function, or even a conversation where you’re out of depth, you’d do well to remember that the people going on and on about the performance/painting/”tannins in the wine” don’t have any superpowers of observation above yours, just more background and a language to go along with it. Nobody smells bullshit faster than a critic, so if it’s your turn to offer an opinion, keep it short, and keep it honest. You don’t have to offer up a “I don’t know much about it”, you just have to describe what the art in question made you think about and leave it at that.
At the Links/Club/Marina
Whatever layer of upper crust you aspire to, but for some reason don’t yet belong, the only thing for it is to be bold, show up and compose yourself as though you belong there. The ultimate irony of exclusive places is that even though they exist mainly to keep out the so-called lower ranks of society, the best people in them were looking through the bars just like you at one time or another. Remember this and remember it well, there’s nothing a man of Swagger respects more than pluck. So hop the fence (metaphorically or literally), grab a cocktail and play it cool until you either get kicked out, or invited into the back for cigars. When you’re on the inside for real, it’ll be a good story for somebody else to tell about you.
The biggest part of punching above your weight is not talking yourself into trouble. Remember the fish: If he kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t get caught.