Pop culture music greats, ranging from Bette Midler (Hello in there) to the Beatles (All the lonely people), chronicle the pain of loneliness. It's a universal, one so many of us experienced during the holidays.
But, like so much of pain that isn't managed, it can sink careers. Loneliness does that through excessive chatter. At work. When interviewing for a job. As part of the pitch to a prospect. And at workplace events framed as social. You bet, you can talk your way away from success and toward making a marginal living.
That was always the situation. It's more so in a volatile economy. Folks are overwhelmed. They, as the saying goes, "don't want to hear it." They don't want to hear your troubles talk about the price of oil to heat your home. They don't want to hear your good news about a stock portfolio which has soared in value.
Become a listener. This is a fundamental which has endured since Dale Carnegie put together his bible for success "How To Win Friends and Influence People." At work, take a sincere interest in people, at all ranks. Ask "discovery questions," such as how they found their way into an accounting career path. In your body language and facial expression demonstrate you are giving your full attention.
Find people who care about you. Truman Capote wrote a short story set in New York. The narrator defined "growing up" as recognizing that not everyone loves you. Given that tragedy of human life, you have to search for the few people who will love you or at least care about you. They may be in a club, church, dog rescue organization or shock your own family. I lucked out about a year ago and found friends on Facebook among my former college classmates - Seton Hill University Class of 1967.
Invest in your personal brand. We all have a brand or an image. The smart ones among us create that. The careless allow others to create it for us. Whether we like it or not, the world is continually and compulsively making decisions about who we are professionally. Either we can leave it in others' hands or we can take control of that process.
TAKEAWAY: In talk, less is always more.