Stand Out, but Fit In, Too

One pink flower in the midst of purple tulips

My five-year-old daughter loves all the books she has in the Pinkalicious series. The most recent one she received is Purplicious.

As the main character’s name denotes, Pinkalicious loves the color pink. But as the book Purplicious starts, many of Pinkalicious’ classmates start to reject her for her color choice. Undaunted, she writes in her diary, “Pink is still perfect.” As the week goes on, her entries in her diary reflect her sadness over the rejection. By Friday, Pinkalicious writes, “Pink has no purpose.”

How often do individuals in transition go through a similar path! Losing a job is a blow, but a job seeker often starts out thinking, “I’m special! I have experiences and talent that many companies would like!” Unless this individual is one of the lucky few who land a job within a few short weeks, optimism wanes as the résumés are sent out and no employment offers come. Even when trying to stay positive and learn something from the rejection, the outlook on the job hunt can be downright depressing.

When Pinkalicious returns to school on Monday, she is surprised to overhear another girl saying that her painting needed some pink. Whatever could she need pink for? “Pink is powerful,” she said as she blended the pink paint on her palette with some blue to turn it into a beautiful shade of purple.

This ending to Purplicioius reminds me of a point that I made in my guest post on The Undercover Recruiter — when you are searching for a job, work to demonstrate that you can “…mesh with the team and enhance its activities with your unique talents.” Being able to show why you’re special and how you can help the company achieve its goals is a key component to success on the job hunt; however, you won’t be given a chance to be a part of what they do if they don’t feel you will fit in with their existing team.

So how exactly can you stand out and fit in all at the same time? Well, you stand out with the experiences, knowledge, and talents you bring to a position. Then, you fit in with regard to your personality traits — things like flexibility, respect for others, appreciation of different perspectives, diplomacy, and so on.

How else can you stand out and fit in at the same time?

Image courtesy of Dawn Huczek

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