can you get a (good) job with blue hair? yes.

as mentioned in my introductory post, i am a librarian.

when people hear the word “librarian”, they usually imagine the stereotype of elderly ladies in mothball-infested sweaters shushing people and chastising them for late fees. on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the equally ridiculous fantasy images of the “sexy librarian” with their short plaid skirts, cleavage-baring dress shirts, and Elvis Costello-style glasses. these assumptions are quite inaccurate, and most LIS students tend to learn this during their first semester of Library School. librarians come in a variety of appearances, and despite the field of librarianship being predominantly female there are a sizable amount of males enrolling in LIS programs.

so what does a typical librarian look like? truthfully, there is no such thing as typical. this statement is especially fitting if you are an individual who favors a less traditional look in the professional world. recently, i read an article entitled “So you Have Blue Hair…”, by a librarian offering career advice to LIS students and job seekers with more “alternative” appearances. the author, Elinor Crosby, has blue hair and several tattoos/piercings. yet she has worked steadily in the public library sector for nearly 2 decades. i haven’t had blue hair since i was 19, but i still wear a lot of black yet i incorporate other colors into my wardrobe. i am also a big fan of stripes and polka dots. i do not have any tattoos or piercings (not even my ears). but never say never.

i found Ms. Crosby’s piece to be very inspiring. she is proof that even people with multi-colored hair and body modifications can have successful and rewarding careers. while her story relates mainly to Librarianship, it can apply to any field. i am fortunate that the organization i work for doesn’t abide by strict dress code rules and encourages diversity among its employees. but i still try to look presentable while still retaining some semblance of personal style.

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2 Responses to “can you get a (good) job with blue hair? yes.”

  1. Hi! Thanks for the kind words re: my recent article on INALJ! I just wanted to clear something up–I’m actually a very new librarian, and have been employed in other fields for the last 18 years. I hope I didn’t mislead you. I have been in several management and teaching positions over the last 15 years, though, and have never had trouble with having an alternative appearance. This has again proven true in the library world, where I am happily in my first library job, and plan to keep working for the next 25 years.

    • phanteana Says:

      hi Elinor! thanks for the comment. my apologies, i must have mis-read that part. regardless, it sounds as though you’ve had great success in the working world and i’m glad your alternative appearance hasn’t gotten in the way. companies should be more concerned that an employee or potential candidate does their job well rather than what they look like or how much experience they have. fortunately, there are some out there who follow this model!

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