Do we really need to hide our accent?

I recently read an article “Is Your Accent Hurting Your Professional Credibility“by J.T O’donnell. She is career specialist and writes  Careerealism blog for young people and college grad.  The story is one of her fellow journalist feel bit challenges in his career because of his strong Boston/South accent, and people can always notice his deep south accent while he is talking in the phone, meeting new people and leaving voice message. She came up with a conclusion that accent possibly hurt people’ s chance of being hired. 

Agree? Yes, I have to agreed with her. It’s reality. Media industry particularly sets a standard on speech. I think I have to follow certain standard in Media, just like you need to follow grammar rule in writing English. You can’t argue with them

Two years ago, I would never agree with her point, and thought it’s so unnecessary to change accent. Seriously, do we really need to hide who we are? Look at TED Talks, many speakers come with accents. However, after realized that they’re tech guys. I understood these computer genius don’t rely their skills on communication. 

I can related in may ways. I don’t have a very strong Chinese accent on my daily communication. However, when I need to organize my thoughts and talk my ideas through, or persuade someone, I tend to have Chinese accent and strange phrase arrangement.  When I execute these actions, I use my energy too much. I could’t relax myself.  

Yesterday, I was talking with Alum in the phone. She works at HR office in a world famous adverting agency. I asked her, what are the qualities or skills that you’d look at first. She told me first, candidates have to communicate clearly. Somehow, I’m confused. Does communicating clearly means the perfect American accent or critical thinking? If applicants are pretty much the same, how do they weight? Smart one goes first or Native one goes first?

While I was searching acting class for speech exercise, I found New York City has many speech exercise class in accent reduction, accent modification, and speech therapy. 

I actually like Boston/South accent very much. It’s very elegant. I got complimentary on my accent too. 

I can’t hide my accent, but can you? Do you want to change?

 

best,

Olivia

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