#3 Dressed Down & Unprepared
Brought you a little something from personal experience.
This is one about being honest.
I turned up at a seminar once. Back when webinars hadn’t bloomed yet and seminars were infamously called seminars. Not ‘offline’, ‘physical’, ‘face-to-face’ seminars.
I must have been 15 or 16. I didn’t go willingly, it was enforced upon me. Normally, teenagers hung out with their friends but one unfortunate Sunday, I was made to go to a financial seminar. “People will appreciate a youngster present. Network, as much as you can,” I was guided.
What was my opportunity cost? It was either hours of catnapping or coming up with a new ways of texting my crush. There was a lot at stake. But I didn’t have a choice.
I wore a crisp, white linen shirt and jeans; because I made a plan with my friends after to balance the boredom suffered in the first half of the day. My first step into the depressing halls and it hit me like a ton of bricks, “What a mistake,” I thought. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. Everyone was in a suit! Underdressing turned out to be a bane in disguise.
Everyone took their seats. The hosts gracefully walked on stage, greeted the audience and asked everyone to introduce themselves in less than two minutes.
In stressful situations, I tend to laugh a bit. The odds were stacked up against me. I was not prepared for anything that day. I was not informed. “What kind of a seminar asks the guests to introduce themselves?” I thought.
Anyway, we all awaited turns and the microphone finally reached my trembling hands. One of the first situations in my life where I didn’t plan ahead of time. So the only thing I remembered in that moment was the truth. And yes, you think about everything when that mike is getting passed around but when it comes to you and you stand up, the truth rolls out easier than the gibberish you made up in your mind. And so it did.
“I honestly was not prepared for this. I’ll start with the truth though. I was made to come to this seminar, not knowing what the dress code was,” people started smiling, “and even if I was aware, I probably wouldn’t want to wear any kind of suit. I am here to learn. To know more about what this field could hold for me. I am still in school. And uhm, I don’t know what I want to do in life. So if you guys find a chance to really share your experience after, it would be dope… great. It would be great.”
The seminar ended and surely enough, people approached to share their experiences. I guess, everyone wants to help someone out if you let them know you’re looking for some kind of help.
Good thing is, I majored in finance 6 years later.
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