This article was written by Jae Lee, a finalist in our 2017 Essay Contest. Thank you for your participation and exceptional writing and thoughts.
How does someone stand out now? Our culture and generation has showered itself with individuality and uniqueness. We have grown with concept that everyone is different and special for their unique way. So, I ask you again, how do we stand out now? We are all different, yes, but to stand out, we have to show each and every one of us how different we are. How do we do that? I believe we have to plunge more into the you that makes you, you. The parts of you that make you different from others. That quality could be your obsession for cold drip coffee or your passion for illustrations by Inoue Takehiko – it does not matter. Each of us has something that makes us Jeffery, Kevin, Amy, Nichole, or Chul-soo. My point is that we have to foster your unique characteristics.
I spent my school days in a culture that tries to erase individuality. In that culture, everyone tries to be in the mainstream of everything. Once people graduate from university, there are academies that help build your career in a path that would make companies such as Samsung or Hyundai to likely hire you. People have to stand out in a culture where everyone wants to stand in. Since everyone wants to stay mainstream, there is a path that people follow to seem unique. People take similar tests, similar activities, similar adventures, to seem different from the majority. It is irony at its best. Here, in the U.S.A, things aren’t that bad, but the question still arises.
How do we stand out? I just told you what we should not do. We should not try to follow a path that would seem to make us unique and stand out. Just don’t blindly follow other people, just be unique in the way you want to be. You like green socks? Rock ’em, and while you are at it, research it, write articles and take pictures about green socks. We have to be the ones that care about the things we care about, nobody else will. While you are passionately documenting and creating content about green socks there is a better chance of you of meeting like-minded peers than when you are doing something just because it might look better on your resume. By meeting people with similar interests, together all of you could create something or help each other in ways that nobody ever imagined. By following through with your passion, now we have a group of people that are passionate about green socks. Passionate people can do anything. This group has a potential to do anything.
I believe that “standing out” has an implication of waiting to be picked up by a giant claw in those toy claw machines. I think in this world and age to truly stand out, you must not wait for somebody to notice you. Similarly, to our green socks group, we have to get out there to the world to share our passion. By going through with what you feel passionate for, you will really stand out from the crowd. The world always loves experts, whatever they may be specialize in. So, my suggestion to stand out as an applicant is to follow your passion and let that passion be heard to the employers. By thinking in the shoes of a hiring manager, I would want to hire people that are really passionate about something. I would rather work with someone with a passion in something than someone that just completed a series of tasks to be relevant to employers. Be that passionate person – stand out as an applicant.