This past week, the career fair hit Penn State students just as hard as ever. Whether you found yourself jammed behind 15 other students trying to print their resumes in the computer labs, or just noticed an influx of your classmates going from sweatpants to suit and tie in your 9 a.m., the career fair welcomes in a time of opportunity, growth and unnecessary stress.
When arriving at the Bryce Jordan Center, one is greeted with a similar atmosphere to a Penn State football game — we somehow all seem to color-coordinate our attire. Career fair fashion features dark navy trousers, variations of white tops, dark navy coats and black portfolio folders carrying freshly pressed resumes we hope end up in potential bosses’ hands. In an ever-expanding work environment designed around diversity and inclusivity, why do we fall victim to a societal norm in what it means to be a young professional?
The group-think mentality is what destroys an individuals creativity and their chance to stand out. When talking to fellow students and prospective corporate go-getters, the typical response for the question, “How did you decide what to wear today?” is usually followed up with, “It was what my friends were wearing.” It’s a safe bet for sure and a clean outfit that won’t raise any eyebrows is never a bad choice, but when tasked with the follow up, “How prepared do you feel about today?” the only people who felt sure of themselves were those who exuded that confidence externally and evidently, those who stood out like a peacock.
Gone are the days in which work attire is loathed to be worn. Take a stroll down Wall Street during autumn and you’ll find Morgan Stanley bags carried by men with frosted tips. Being a young professional in this day and age is about inventing oneself and wearing that brand with pride. Be expressive, be colorful, but most importantly be you — it’s the only way to ensure total confidence both in and out of the workplace.