This last weekend, I took a trip out The Grove, a beautiful outdoor mall in Los Angeles. My girlfriend, So Fresh and So Chic and I headed out to the Topshop X StyleCon event. Since it was held on a Saturday and the weather was perfect (22°C/73°F, yet colder than Toronto which has been about 33°C/91°F all week), it was crowded. This got me thinking of what it meant to stand out in a crowd. Not just in how we present ourselves with what we wear, but in every day life and as professionals in an environment where we’d often feel it’s crowded. Whether it’s hunting for a new job, travelling, being at a cool event or in your relationships with others, doing things that showcase your unique qualities, exceptional abilities and personality is something to be valued and worth sharing with others.
When I completed my undergraduate degree, I didn’t really think of this so much, but having played so many sports, training 3x a day and having done almost every track and field event I luckily built this sort of go-to attitude. I also learned so much from seeing how great people treat others around me. Since they left lasting impressions on me, It made me want to pass on the good vibes. We all have qualities and special features that help us stand out from the rest, but it’s learning how to own those skills and using them well.
Top 3 Things to Stand Out From the Crowd
1) Show Your Personality Through Your Personal Style
There have been numerous occasions where I’m attending an event or a party and find myself asking “What should I wear?” and “Is this too much?” The best thing I did years ago was to not overthink those things and tell myself it’s better to be overdressed than to be under-dressed. I mean, you can’t really be embarrassed for dressing nicely, can you? If you’re shy, wearing something beautiful will definitely draw extroverts like me to come by and compliment your outfit and start a conversation. I’d like to think that most people appreciate the effort and beauty.
When it comes to job interviews, leaning more on the classic and professional side, but adding your own personal touch is a great way to show that you are professional, but unique. So many people wear a black, grey or navy suit suit jacket, so don’t be afraid to wear a well structured stripe blazer with a nice knee-length skirt, or a patterned blouse with slacks. The key is to attract the right attention and still come off looking professional.
2) Go Against the Grain
I feel like there is a almost a standard attitude or social protocol in everything we do. I remember when I applied for jobs, everyone would always submit an application with a cover letter, but I recall feeling like I’d get lost in the pile of resumes. Some social rules are meant to be broken. There are so many different ways you can make yourself stand out. Now that you can buy hand bags and get them customized with personal monograms, or add accessories to bags that give that extra personal touch, you can have so much fun doing things differently from everyone else!
When it comes to job hunting, I remember reading about a hiring manager who had received a Kit Kat chocolate bar with a resume over courier and note that said, “Take a Break” and of course, she picked that package, broke open the delightful treat and started reading. It didn’t mean that this person got preferential treatment because something like that could really can only get you so far, but it definitely stood out and arrived in a special manner, so it was a great way to draw the hiring manager’s attention and give it a quick read to see if the person would be a good candidate. Some use special stock paper, while others use their own special unique traits to make them stand out. We’re all different and have something special to offer, so being unique and adding special touches to things seem boring come off as enjoyable, and if done well, leave a lasting impression.
3) Go Beyond Expectations
Whoever came out with the quote, Go the Extra Mile. It’s Less Crowded There was incredibly smart and probably very, very hard working. Going after what you want and trying your hardest means you won’t have any regrets about pursuing the things you desire in life. I love going off the beaten path, but this goes for all aspects in life – health family, career and lifestyle. For me, this is especially true for when I travel and in my working life. At work, this can be taking on extra tasks, spending extra time with people in various departments or taking the lead on parts of a project that need assistance moving forward. In life, this could be surprising someone with a small hand written note, a little treat or something that costs little to nothing. The thought and effort is always appreciated, noted in the back of our minds and rarely ever forgotten.
Is there something you’ve done that made you stand out from the crowd with work or friends that was completely unexpected? I’d absolutely love to hear your stories! Please comment below if you enjoyed this post or have a moment to share.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ