First impression thoughts and opinions are an unsightly reality of the society we live in. I’m writing this post because I believe it’s relevant for women to remain continually aware of how much they can and cannot control.
I follow a fun blog called Corporette that’s geared to women in the corporate world and it has decent fashion ideas and advice. Recently, there was a post called Diamond Rings and the Working Girl. The article was about what size diamond ring is appropriate to wear in an office and what about wearing diamonds on a job interview?
I posted the article on my Facebook page with a comment, “Regarding wearing diamonds to an interview: DON’T. I don’t recommend any rings. Strand of pearls or necklace, a watch if you wear one and that’s it.”
I received well over 50 comments and most of the comments were from intelligent women who vehemently disagreed with my comment. The women were saying they wouldn’t work or interview with a company that made hiring decisions based on what type of jewelry they wore or what their marital or financial status might be. And that companies should do a better job of educating hiring managers.
They were missing the mark. I was not referring to unethical companies, untrained hiring managers or even jewelry – it’s deeper than that.
Perception is reality so why not make the first impression of you be your real power: your experience, your accomplishments, what you know and how good you are? Control the focus of the interviewer so it stays on YOU without distractions. Wear diamonds and even a wedding ring on an interview and here’s an example of an interviewer’s possible interpretation or first impression (conducted by a human being who will have subjective thoughts and biased opinions creeping into his or her mind) :
- Diamond engagement ring.“Will probably need time off for the wedding and honeymoon.”
- Diamond ring with wedding band.“Wonder if there’s a maternity leave in her future or little kids at home?”
- Gigantic diamond ring with wedding band.“Hubby must earn a good living so she doesn’t need this job. Probably high maintenance who will whine or quit if she can’t have her way.”
This is not about shifting company culture or its leadership, it’s not about training our leaders to make employment decisions solely based on skills and experience, it’s not about whether you work for a family-friendly company, and it’s not about hiding who you are or being disingenuous. This is my point:
You have the power to outsmart and control what society has created in human nature by circumventing unfair judgments that others may make about your lifestyle or character.
Put this particular gender issue behind you by taking control. Don’t bellyache about wanting to be judged solely on your skills and abilities and then leave yourself wide open for a critique that can be 100% off base. If your personal life (married? children?) is none of your interviewer’s business then keep it that way during the interview.
Is this fair? Of course not. Is this real? Yes. Will you ever know about it? Nope. Get the job on your own merit, keep the focus on YOU and wear your bling after you’re hired.
I hope that you’ve realized this isn’t about jewelry or big boobs or surrendering. It’s about successfully and positively controlling how you are perceived by others.