Are you optimizing your career for like or want?

Joanna Bloor
4 min readNov 30, 2022

Every month I host Opt In Hours. They’re ask-me-anything sessions with anyone who’s subscribed to the monthly Future You Investment Experience. I’ll be honest; I’m always a little bit terrified before we let everyone into the virtual room as the questions come fast and furious. We get everything from:

“How do I get my boss to say yes to my idea?” to “How do I ask for a promotion?” to “Can can I teach someone about my potential?” Here are some of the things I said this week.

  • Starting with an org chart is not a good idea when presenting an idea. Start with the problem or opportunity. Take a look at how Founders pitch their companies to investors. They have a framework you can use. Founders are just people with big ideas. Like you.
  • Promotions happen when someone wants what you’re going to do in the future, they’re rarely a reward for what you’ve done. So saying, “It’s been a year, so I should get promoted.” is a missed opportunity to ask for what you want.

We have so much fun. And yes, I still wear sequins.

What I find interesting about these questions and conversations is the consistent theme of confidence that comes with every question.

Will they like me? Is this the right way of doing this? What if they say no?

I’ve learned that The Opt-In Hours are as much about helping others believe they CAN be who they want to be as finding other ways for people to believe in the future they want. Whatever the question, my goal is to give the member enough confidence to shift from hope to action.

This idea got me thinking about the dynamics between people when confidence is in play. We’re all aware of the direct correlation between confidence and career success, yet we all struggle. Here’s an idea.

We spend too much time making sure people LIKE us. And in doing so, we put all the power and confidence in someone else’s hands.

Before you shake your head at me and say, “But Joanna, if they don’t like you, they won’t Opt Into You!” or “But Joanna! I WANT them to like me.” I’m not saying they shouldn’t. They should like you, like you, and…

What if you approached a collaboration, and instead of making sure they LIKED you, you helped them WANT you?

Liked — Wanted — Invited — Inspiring © Joanna Bloor

What if you approached a collaboration, and instead of making sure they WANTED you, you made it easy for them to INVITE you?

What if you approached a collaboration, and instead of making sure they INVITED you, you helped them be INSPIRED by you?

Look at each phase. Think about the dynamic between you and the other person.

If they LIKE you, they will probably TAKE what you have to offer.

If they WANT you, they will probably CHOOSE you to be on their team.

If they INVITE you, they will probably REQUEST you and treat you like a peer.

If they’re INSPIRED by you, they will probably WISH you to be part of the conversation.

Do you notice the subtle shift in confidence? Your confidence and theirs?

If you’re optimizing for LIKE, you’re leaving all the decision-making power in the hands of the other person. You have no agency. You hope they choose you. It’s not surprising then that you feel less confident with almost every interaction.

Take the other end of the dynamic; if you’re optimizing for INSPIRE, they’re coming to you to ask you to join them. The decision-making power dynamic shifts in the other direction, and by WISHING for you, the other party is probably excited to tell other people you’re joining.

Take — Choose — Request — Wish © Joanna Bloor

To shift through the phases from LIKED to INSPIRING, you need to be more confident in yourself. They need to be more confident in you to shift from TAKING to WISHING.

It’s the Opt-In Equation manifesting again with a side of confidence.

I bring you back to the original idea. We spend too much time making sure people like us. And in doing so, we put all the power, all your confidence, in someone else’s hands. Resulting in a lack of confidence on both sides.

There’s so much more to unpack here. But I hope this has challenged you to pause and ask what message you are sending to other people about your belief in the Future You.

Want to sort this whole self-confidence thing out for yourself or your team? Do you want to shift from LIKED to something more?

I’m here to help.



Joanna Bloor

I teach people to massively improve how they buy and sell potential. Talks about #hr, #futureyou, #potential, #leadership, and #futureofwork