Last Thursday was the semi-annual career fair in my college. Every semester about a 100+ restaurant, hotel, event planning, catering, travel, sales, tourism, etc. companies come to recruit students from our top hospitality school. It’s a great time to stand out and show off your skills. In the weeks leading up to I joked with a fellow classmate, “Omg, what if I wore a pink suit to career fair.” She looked at me with such disdain and replied, “You can’t do that…that’s not professional. No one will hire you.” Chile, so y’all know I took that as a challenge, and went on a hunt to find the perfect pink suit. And as you can see I did!
Since, I’ve started college, I’ve attended several different professional development workshop seminars, where I’ve constantly been told, you have to wear black. That your resume has to be black and white. That’s so boring…so traditional…so NOT ME. I was told that women have to wear these outrageously long skirts or opt for a
manly conservative suit. Have y’all seen me? There is nothing manly about all this here! That was never going to work. I’ve been following the rules for the past 4 semesters, opting for wearing the same black business dress with stockings and and cute Mary Jane heels. Don’t get me wrong I was cute! I put a little color on my resume too, but I never really loved my outfit or felt like me. I’m confident in my professional skills and I know that despite what I have on I can perform and produce results. Wearing a pink suit, was just an extra boost of confidence for me and a signal to recruiters that I’m a creative risk taker.
Although, this whole thing started as a way for me to prove a point, it’s actually way bigger than that. I am the CEO of Me, President and Creative Director of Taylor Brione Inc. Before I can represent any other company or brand, I represent myself. I am my own brand. My brand is bold, creative, and strategic. My brand also happens to be feminine and pink. If a company liked me, but wanted me to be less feminine, then they don’t want me. My creativity and boldness stems from me being who I am. How could I perform the work, bringing in my creativity, when my creativity is stifled before I even walk in the door? No amount of money, is worth me changing who I am, to represent the brand of someone else. If you want me to work for your company, you have to want me, just as I am: bold, creative, strategic, and most likely wearing pink.
How do you keep your identity in the workplace?