I know it’s kind of odd. I am not exactly sure why these flashbacks occur. Maybe I relate all the shoe options with the many different jobs out there, both in terms of responsibilities and the type of employer doing the hiring.
I grew up in northern New Jersey, where shopping is a pastime, almost a competitive sport. Before school started in the fall, my Mom and I would always make a voyage to the malls, the Outlets, Burlington Coat Factory, you name it. We would plan our entire day and head in like sherpas, armed with candy bars, bottled water, and coffee, in search of the Lost Ark.
I still remember my very first trip to the Nordstrom’s shoe department in the early ‘90s like it was yesterday. The holy grail of shoe-shopping, the moment I walked in I felt like a Boss.
One shoe choice in particular, purchased the summer before my second year in college, really stands out. I was 19, a fledgeling adult at this point, and pretty sure of myself. I really thought I was making the right choice and I had given my shoe options a lot of thought.
I went on this shopping adventure with a plan. I was on the hunt for Doc Marten Fisherman sandals. I had never been interested in wearing Doc Marten boots, but for some reason I went all-in for these "Doc Marten Lite” sandals, made by the same company, equally cumbersome but less rebellious-looking.
When I got back to my college, in Illinois, I still believed I had made the right choice. I wasn’t the only one wearing them, and we all clomped along the sidewalks together between classes.
Maybe it took a new perspective to wake me up to my "fashion-victimhood". Thanks to a stipend from my Grandma, I had the good fortune and incredible opportunity to study in Spain for six weeks. While there, I quickly bonded with a fashionable classmate from San Diego, and her words brought new insight to my irrational shoe choices.
“Those sandals make you look like Shrek.”
I was past the point of being offended. “They’re actually giving me blisters,” I confided. I was caught up in a footwear trend that made no sense, did not look cute on me and was actually hurting me. I borrowed some shoes from her right then and there, and never looked back.
This relates to the whole job hunt game because, when speaking with BizJetJobs.com employers, I’ll talk to one who’s excited to bring on new crew members. An hour later, I’ll get a call from another who's attitude - let’s just say - is potentially less than ideal. “The Shrek” of employers. I sometimes wonder, how can you avoid these employers? On the flip side, what if The Shrek is your perfect fit?
For me, those Docs were The Shrek. They really brought me down. But for my friend Arja with skinny legs, the clunky sandal worked for her. I just had to find the shoe that was right for me - instead of focusing so much on finding the perceived "right shoe". Don’t be a slave to the corporate aviation industry, like I was a slave to fashion. If you find a good fit, you can be happy for years.