Career counselors say ‘blend in’; I disagree

2 May

I’ve sought advice from a lot of career counselors. I’m obsessed with furthering my career and becoming vibrant and successful, so I like to hear what experts think.

I’ve discovered these career experts are usually just experts on fitting in. They’ll advise someone going in for an interview to wear really bland clothing – you know, white shirt and black pantsuit. Nothing that stands out. They tell me to take off my headbands and take out my nosering.

Maybe it’s just because I’m in a creative field – right now my main job is doing in-house design – but fitting in is so passe. I’m a master of sticking out. I personally believe how a job fits is just as important as having it to begin with. Last year, my main job was as a barista – it was important to me to have a casual job involving massive intakes of caffeine.

Headbands are kind of my fashion signature, if you can call what I wear “fashion”. (I very rarely reflect the trends of the day!) I wear headbands nearly every day, and I have them in all different colors and styles. Headbands aren’t a common sight in offices, except on me.

I always have more job offers than I can take. My resume stands out even more than my headbands and I’ve never had an employer instruct me to lose my headbands or nosering.

That’s why I’ve decided to not consult career counselors any more.

I believe that career counselors are great if you’re just getting started on your path and you need help conforming to industry standard. But once you know the rules, it’s ok to break them.

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One Response to “Career counselors say ‘blend in’; I disagree”

  1. Angie Fiedler Sutton May 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Here, here, Andi! I’ve yet to find a career counselor who actually helped me figure out what I want to do with my life. (If you haven’t yet, you need to read “What Should I Do With My Life?” by Po Bronson – I’m almost done with it, and it’s all about that desire to be more than you are.)

    However, on their behalf, it is all about making sure you ‘fit in’ with the company, though – if you’re applying for a job at Commerce Bank, showing up in jeans and a t-shirt ain’t gonna get you that job. But if you’re applying to work at Pixar, from what I’ve seen in the special features, showing up in a suit is going to get you shown the door.

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