Compare No More

Dr. Seuss has written phenomenal pieces of literature for children that illustrate simple allegories in highly creative ways. Now that I am older and reflect back on the stories that I have read, I realize Dr. Seuss was conveying positive messages and moral concepts that are relatively simple, yet realistically difficult to implement for many people.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” -Dr. Seuss

By default, we automatically compare ourselves to other people because comparison enables us to create a self gauge of personal perspective. Unfortunately, the results we desire are not always positive and negative results lead to inevitable negative thoughts. Why do we allow ourselves to let others shape and mold the self image that we perceive ourselves to be?

When I was eighteen I began seeking out my first employment opportunity because it was really important to me that I had a summer job after I graduated from high school. One day I walked into a higher end retail store and began shopping for some new outfits for my senior pictures. The stylist (salesperson) that was assisting me at the time was very personable and we got along very well throughout my shopping experience. While at the cash-wrap, purchasing my new pieces, the stylist mentioned that they were in the middle of hiring new stylists and offered me an application. I was ecstatic. I gratefully excepted the application and returned within minutes to turn the application in.

Within a couple days I received a call from the store manager asking me to come back for an interview. Of course I said yes and a week later I was back at Club Monaco at Mall of America for an interview. Please keep mind this was my first interview because I made many mistakes:

The first mistake I made was showing up with a shopping bag from Macy’s because I decided that purchasing new sandals for summer was acceptable before the interview, rather than taking care of personal needs afterwards. Once I arrived within the retail store, I realized I was not the only one being interviewed, but I would be participating in a group interview. Looking at those waiting with me, I realized how underdressed I was for the interview and how much younger I was compared to the three other applicants. After we all sat down together and the interview process began, I became conscious to the gum I was still chewing (which I forced myself to swallow immediately).

The entire process was embarrassing.  Many of the questions asked included prior work experience, where you received your degree or where you are currently attending college, handling conflict in the workplace, etc. I had no prior work experience, I was still in high school, and I had never encountered conflict in the workplace. All I could do was smile, answer questions concisely and carefully and allow my personality to leverage that lack of credibility.

I remember sharing the experience with my parents and notifying them that I am not expecting a call back based on the day’s events.  A week had gone by and I had received no phone call from Club Monaco inviting me back for a second, one on one interview. To my surprise, shortly after accepting that I was probably not going to be asked back, I received a phone call from the store manager for second interview. I was shocked.

I became the youngest employee at Club Monaco that summer and shortly after accepting my employment opportunity I learned that the young stylist that had been helping me the first day I walked into the store was one of the assistant store managers and spoke on my behalf for the job position.  I learned that I had been hired because I was likable, personable, and approachable. How I compared to the other applicants was irrelevant and not a determining factor in how I was perceived by the staff at Club Monaco.

As people, we will always be comparing ourselves to others, but how we interpret the information we gather and what we decide to do with it , accept or reject, determines what we believe ourselves to be. Remain true to who you are and allow yourself to shine through any situation because:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” -Dr. Seuss

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