You hear the advice all the time, especially when it comes to getting a new career, killing it at your new job, or just being a boss at your life. Don't know something? Fake it till you make it! Not sure about a new role? Fake it till you make it! Need a tan? Fake it till you make it!
But before you get all fakey at work, you should know that it's not always the best way to get where you want to go. In fact, faking it could land you in some hot water. Here's why being authentic is a better bet.
1. You'll End Up Looking Dumb
Faking it until you make it is all well and good; until you make a massive mistake at work and look dumb. Hey, there's nothing wrong with asking for help in knowing how to do something, especially when your job is high stakes. Don't fake your expertise in web design or welding, because when you're asked to show your stuff and your boss finds out you're totally lying, it'll look bad on you. Worse, it could be super dangerous.
2. You End Up Unprepared
Repeating to yourself the mantra of "fake it till you make it!" lulls you into a false sense of security. Instead of taking the time to prepare properly for new roles and responsibilities, you think you can just float on by. Sure, until someone who is prepared totally surpasses you. Don't fake it so hard that you miss out on opportunities because you're not prepapred.
3. You Don't Seek Out Training
Asking for help is hard. But getting in trouble because you promised your boss that you can do something? That's harder. Thinking you can just improvise your way through your job could cause you to miss out on some seriously awesome training and on-the-job education. Why fake it when you can actually know it?
4. You Ignore What You're Really Good At
What if Jay-Z was so intent on faking that he was a world-class gymnast that he ignored the fact that he's a really good rapper? It can be intimidating when you feel like your skill set doesn't really match your job, but it can also be a sign that you need to try something else. Don't waste all your time faking proficiency at one skill when you could be working honing others that actually get you somewhere.
5. You're Not Honest with Yourself
Be real: Do you really want to have to fake your way through life? When you're honest with yourself, you'll probably find the hidden meaning behind your faking. Maybe you're scared of disappointing someone, or you feel unprepared and intimidated by your coworkers. Quit floating along and be honest with yourself and you have the power to actually change things for the future.
We've all been in a situation where we pretended to know more than we do, have more experience than we do, or show off confidence we don't have. Just don't make "fake it till you make it" your career mantra when prepping and passion are so much better.