“Atta Boys”

Ken (work husband) had a few sales awards won over his career and would refer to these as “Atta Boys”, a term I was not familiar with at the time. He would also point out “Atta Boys” when they were highlighted on a resume. Not disparagingly but always questioning the choice to highlight a particular award.

Drawing attention to your 2007 award for “best sales rookie” is going to focus an interviewer on more current accomplishments and if there aren’t any or they don’t stand up to that golden rookie year you just look sad.

You find the need for Atta Boys most frequently in sales people and politicians. Both are ego driven professions and I’m saying that as a proud sales person. Let me tell you about the trip I won over twenty years ago.

As we emerge from the latest phase of the pandemic, spokespeople for governments, political parties and public health experts are falling over themselves to claim Atta Boys. We were the best, we were the fastest, we were the safest etc. Heads up folks, those Atta Boys are not going to stand up to scrutiny in the future, they may not even last until summer.

If you feel the need to claim an Atta Boy, pause for a minute and consider if you can defend it in the future.

It’s something to keep in mind when updating your resume or preparing a Covid reopening plan.