In online game leagues, high-tier players are normally paired against equally good opponents. But sometimes, a highly skilled individual will simply make a new account under a new name and start over from lower tiers in order to get the chance at playing against new players, which is called “[[Smurfing]]”, because it makes you look “weaker” than you actually are. I apologize to any smurfs that may find this offensive, that expression is not mine.

Similarly, a brain surgeon can pierce ears at the mall, and an associate professor of agronomy knows how to water plants in the university’s garden, but probably neither should be a topic of conversation when discussing their duties and compensation package. Just because you absolutely can do many things for your clients, doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to offer all of them.

And I get it, we all want our clients to be happy. But what the client needs you for are areas of work that require a level of confidence higher than your client currently has, which is why he/she is interested in borrowing yours. If you offer (or accept) to also do work from a much lower ” confidence tier” like taking minutes, proofreading, or other tasks usually done by whoever, you can make them start to wonder if you actually have the level of confidence they need right now. I’m not saying “acting arrogant is smart”, there are always exceptions. But once you get the idea that this behavior is expected rather than seen as a favor and appreciated, do whatever you can to draw a boundary.


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