Wear a black suit. Keep your hair pulled back and out of your face. No dangly or flashy jewelry. Make sure your makeup is simple and understated. Look the part of the clean, pristine professional. Well, at least, that’s what my friends and family told me to do when I began my pursuit to further my career once I earned my degree.
I didn’t know how to apply for a job, so I listened to the words of others. While some of the advice was quite applicable and valuable in my professional pursuits, I started to realize something that was a little frightening to me.
I was interviewing as a person who wasn’t me. Why was I selling a version of me that wasn’t me? Why was I asking people to accept me as someone I wasn’t?
When I graduated college with my undergraduate degree, I relied heavily on the advice of others in order to succeed in gaining an interview and hopefully a job. I did not have a single idea as to what the professional world wanted and needed guidance of those who either had been through the hiring process before or work in hiring themselves. I followed their advice perfectly. Anything and everything I was told to do, I did without question.
Funny thing was, I forgot how to be me in the process.
Now, after working in the professional world and having gone on multiple interviews for various jobs, I’m starting to better understand the working world, and I am starting to better understand myself as well.
Looking back on all of the advice I was given, I realize that I was given advice that, while practical, would create a stranger staring back at me. Wear a black suit, they told me. Your hair should be pulled back and neat. Be perfectly professional. However, I wasn’t ever able to fully sell myself to a stranger for the job I was interviewing for because it became everything I wasn’t.
A professional, adult stranger was my apparent reflection, even when I felt like a wild child on the inside.
I would go into interviews and sell a version of myself I invented based on the way others had found success. While it may have worked for them in their own disciplines and experiences, I’ve finally realized that some of the advice I was given isn’t exact.y what best portrays me.
I am unique.
Maybe, I should start trying to promote me instead of what I want them to see because they are going to be hiring me and not every other person who has given me advice over the years.
It all starts with appearance.
I bought a pink suit. It isn’t an obnoxious hot pink. It’s a light, pale pink. Nothing too flashy, but it is different enough. I am sick and tired of blending in with every other potential job candidate. I am an eccentric weirdo, and that’s why you should hire me.I am unique and will create something that hasn’t been seen before.
Pink is me…
…and I want you to hire me.