Are you a victim of value attribution?

Let's imagine that you're hoping that one day someone important notices you so that your career can take off. What if it actually happened, and you didn't recognize the opportunity?

If you take in information differently depending on who delivers it, you're setting yourself up for missing a ton of opportunities. Doing so is called "value attribution," "which simply means the inclination to superimpose or imbue a thing with certain qualities or characteristics based on our initial perception."

Let's say you have a master class with a great Broadway star and his pianist. At the end of the masterclass, the pianist takes you aside and tells you that he is involved with a great project that needs someone just like you. The only thing you have to do is send an email to the producer with your resume, headshot, and a video of you.

What would you think?
"Oh, I don't know anything about this project, it might just be a waste of time, we'll see...," or "wow, this pianist has connections, noticed me and even though I still have to audition, he will put in a good word for me which can really help me get a foot in the door."

Now imagine that it was not the pianist but the Broadway star himself that tells you about the project and suggest you audition for it.

What would you think then?
"Oh, I don't know anything about this project, it might just be a waste of time, we'll see...," or "oh my God, this super star just noticed me and will tell the producers about me. I am so in! Can't wait to audition and prove them all that I'm great! I'm so lucky! I better not screw that one up!"

Here is the thing, both the pianist and the Broadway star noticed you, and with both of them you get a leg up from anyone else auditioning. Next time you get an offer, don't judge where it comes from. If you already have something going on, be incredibly grateful and thank the person for the offer, no matter who offered it. Because next time, they might contact you again or suggest your name, unless you act like they're a nobody and you don't even have the time to say thanks and mean it. Don't make yourself a victim of value attribution.


Picture from http://www.poetryhere.com/midi/

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