Are You Tough?

Scene:  Third story board room; myself and two recruiters oppositely nestled amongst a sea of black chairs meaningfully placed around a vast, but empty conference table. Here it comes ….. one of them asks, “Carrie, are you tough”?

I dutifully rattled off some muddled answer and got a nod in reply, however hours later, my Monday morning quarterback thought process just cannot shake that question out of my head.  Should I have been more witty? Should I have deflected my answer towards one of my less abrasive strengths? Wait…. AM I TOUGH?

Am I the lion or the lamb? With what level of commitment do I hold my ground?

My mind is breaking the speed limit.  Confidence, conscience and conviction my passengers along for the ride.

It is these thought provoking, self-reflection questions that any good HR person asks and that most candidates (now, me included) stumble over.  Why does it seem to bother so many to claim they’re “tough”?  I’ll admit that I wasn’t quick to jump at adding that word to my brand.  It seems too rough, almost rigid.  I want to diligently portray my commitment to my craft without sounding so abrasive, yet simultaneously protecting myself from sounding flighty and undeserving of a challenge.

So, am I Tough? No.

I am Firm. Passionate. Strong. Unwavering. Persistent.