I was head hunted yesterday (a colloquialism for being recruited elsewhere while still employed) for the first time. I admit, I was flattered. The recruiter found an old resume hanging out online and called me based on that. I decided to play it straight and ask what company they were recruiting for and how much they were willing to pay. The company is a small, local independent firm. The minimum they’re willing to pay is $18,000 more than I’m making now. The maximum is $38,000 more than my current salary. My eyes about popped out of my head.
It’s no secret that my company is one of the lowest paying in the industry. I witnessed it firsthand when I saw how much my new hires were making and how low their salary would still be after a significant raise. After consulting with my dad, Boy, and my boss, they told me to go for it. I submitted my application and now I’m waiting to hear back about an interview. On paper, I’m a pretty good fit. My licenses alone are good enough to get me through the door. With 6 years in the industry under my belt, I’d be surprised if I wasn’t offered the chance to interview. I always knew I could get paid more for what I brought to the table. What I’ve been missing in pay, I’ve been making up for in environment. This opportunity definitely put that into immediate and harsh perspective.
My tattoos are almost universally a turn off to more “legitimate” firms. It doesn’t matter how smart I am, how much experience I have, or what kind of promise I show. You have tattoos? Thank you, don’t call us, we’ll call you. My boss scoffed at the idea saying it was ridiculous that people should judge me based on it. The only thing our dress code mentions regarding tattoos is that they can’t be offensive. Unless I decide not to wear pants to work, my offensive tattoo will remain covered. Frankly, not wearing pants to work is a much larger offense. Should I be offered an interview, I won’t go out of my way to hide them. I’ll present myself in proper interview attire, but I’m not going to show up in a full suit and tights in July. Been there, done that, wasn’t worth the effort. I also don’t currently have a suit that fits. I’ve given up on the bullshit. Let my qualifications speak for themselves. If someone is unwilling to hire me because of my body art, then I have no interest in working for them. Officially, we’re a business casual office. Typically, I’m one of the better dressed ones. I do consider my audience and dress appropriately. If I’m going to be standing up in front of the president of the company and other execs, I won’t show up in a sleeveless top, no matter how well tailored, which shows my arms in all their glory.
My plan is elegant in its simplicity. Show up as I would on a “nice” day to work, be honest about my experience and expectations, then leave it be. If they offer me the job, I can always say no. If they don’t offer me the job, I’m no worse off than I am now.
Watch what happens.