There are many decisions to be made when you are in the midst of a job search. You will need to consider which factors are most important to you such as salary, benefits, job duties, and career development. There are also other seemingly superficial factors that one must consider.
In other words, do I cut my hair? Do I don a navy blue suit with a red bow tie? Do I leave my earring at home or perhaps let my pierced ear grow closed? Should I dismiss the notion of that nose ring? Do I force myself into a skirt and nylons?
This decision can be an interesting exercise in unraveling what really makes you tick and what will make you happiest in the long run. The first question to ask yourself is what type of industry or position interests you most. There are career choices that offer more flexibility than others. Many artistic or creative positions value an employee’s sense of individuality and creativity. In these types of environments, it’s often more acceptable to dress less conventionally and have long hair or a pierced nose.
If you find that the world of finance or accounting is what would make you most happy, you’ll need to abide by the rules of that industry in order to be successful. In this case, it’s advisable to cut your hair and buy a formal, dark suit. A basic rule of thumb is this; the more strictly regulated the industry, the more conventional its physical appearance.
After you have decided what type of career will make you most happy, you must ask yourself how you want to go about getting it. Would you consider conforming for a time while you gain expertise in the field or is that out of the question?
Many of the people who say that conforming is out of the question will go on to cite individuals who earn a good living without “playing by the rules”. They are exactly right. There are pony-tailed men who make a good living in the world of finance and women executives who stray from the conventional dress. There are also many individuals who work in very creative roles who don’t abide by the convention of their industry. Chances are, though, that these people began their career abiding by the rules. It was only after they had established themselves in their career that they began to show their individuality.
Overall, there are a couple of hints to remember while you consider your choices. First; there are few industries that embrace an unkempt appearance. The “I just got up” look tells the employer that you are not really serious about making a good impression.
Second; a clean cut appearance rarely hinders your chances of success during an interview. If your earring or long hair is not extremely important to you, it may be a good idea to assume a more conventional appearance during your job search. After you have proven yourself to an employer, you may find that you will be afforded the freedom you desire.