A friend of mine is a contractor at a large government agency. For those readers outside of the Washington D.C. bubble, contractor jobs are never quite secure. The company that employs my friend just lost the bid. He likely won’t lose his job; instead, he will be absorbed by the company that wins the contract. In a meeting held to inform employees of what to expect in the transition, it was explained that contractors may have to re-interview for their current positions with the new company. “You mean I’m going to have to sell myself for a job I already have?” someone asked.

Yes, you are always going to have to sell yourself. It starts in the interview and never really ends. You’re under scrutiny for the first few months, and then, maybe, depending on the intensity of the environment you’re in, you can let up every so often when you just didn’t get enough sleep, you had a fight with your significant other, or your boss is driving you nuts. But even then, letting up is a risk – if you choose to take it, be prepared for the consequences. No one is privy to your personal experience and even if they were, there’s often not much patience for the personal, the unmotivated, the less-than-on-point.

Don’t think of selling yourself as a burden of proof you must constantly demonstrate, but an opportunity to up-sell and show your employer everything they don’t already know about you.