We all struggle with self image - it’s human.
I’ve debated this topic often over the last 5 years in my career and if you know me, we have probably spoken about this but I finally feel confident, positive and daring enough to put up a photo of me on LinkedIn - unedited with my tattoos showing and curls too! I want to firstly say a big thank you to Conor McHugh, ACCA and Alchemy Search for allowing me to be my authentic self.
Being authentic is important to me and I think the only way to be in the 21st century. Many of us now have tattoos, piercings, fillers, botox, plastic surgery or even just edit and put filters on our photos. Even with this we still struggle with self image. Let’s instead focus on the value, knowledge and experience we bring to the table rather than judging based on skin color, the size of our jeans or how we look?
Whilst perception is important (some would even say all that matters) it’s also important to “show your true self”! I’ve now realized that once you get past the initial perception / first impression what really matters is what is inside and the quality of the professional service I provide.
I’ve been told in the past to cover my tattoos, brush my frizzy hair because it’s ‘not corporate’ or ‘unprofessional’.
'But you work in recruitment, what if someone sees your tattoos?'
'How can people take you seriously?'
So I’ve air brushed my tattoos out of my corporate photos/LinkedIn photos, went out of my way to wear turtle necks (even in Dubai’s 40 degree weather) and I was always too worried my hair was too curly or too frizzy for a client meeting. (Because obviously we all have straight, long hair and that’s the only acceptable way for a woman to be ‘professional’) and somehow I still worry about these things believe it or not.
In the past, remote work/WFH was deemed absurd, completely unacceptable, women couldn’t wear nail polish and men couldn’t even grow their beards in a corporate environment.
We no longer wear ties as much as we used to, we opt to have video calls rather than meet in person, we no longer like to work in an environment that doesn’t support women/men/mothers/fathers… times keep changing and we need to keep adapting.
Change is good and we should always thrive to be different.