To Hell With Suits!

by The Red Recruiter on October 26, 2009

2995309694_7264320789_bI never liked wearing suits…

Shortly after graduating college, I remember going to the men’s clothing department to peruse the various fabric selections for my future professional wardrobe – I knew in the back of my mind I was going to hate wearing a shirt and tie in 110 degree Arizona heat.

Four suits and seven months later, I found myself in the uncomfortable pattern of gearing up for my daily jousting match with professional protocol. The ritual never felt quite right.

When I started Red Recruiting just over a year ago and transitioned my way into the realm of social media, I quickly recognized the opportunity to leave my corporate plate mail behind. It became increasingly apparent that my professional character was decided not by the quality of fabric on my back, but by the creative thoughts in my mind, commitment to authenticity and desire to spur change.

The other welcomed adjustment was the clear expectation to stay consistent both online and off. Converting to this new mentality was not easy, following years of big business etiquette. I made the commitment to be myself, despite the internal battles that come with new levels of transparency.

One of the greatest challenges along this newfound path has been balancing what I’m willingly able to disclose with the information that can potentially impact the confidentiality of others.

Being transparent is about taking risks. Ultimately, the only person who knows your true commitment to this concept is yourself. It’s easy to recognize the fact that we all have different levels of comfort in being ourselves openly.

*gulp*

I’m in the process of going through a divorce.

Many things have changed and evolved over the past 13 years and the time has come to embark on separate journeys.

There is more to this situation than I currently feel at liberty to disclose, as the full story impacts the personal privacy of others. The bottom line is that I feel at peace with the decisions that have been made and my future direction.

No situation of this nature is ever easy. Emotions, logistics and a desire to keep things simple have more than lessened my social noise of late. A large part of this silence has been a result of coming to terms with yet another level of transparency.

I am personally challenged with owning an authentic voice comprised of only partial reality and experience. Therefore, this post is my attempt to move forward.

The filters of our lives are what ultimately create our unique perspectives – mine, at this juncture, are shifting in new directions. It is my hope that by pushing through the uncomfortable act of making this situation public, my true voice and personality can once

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again return.

I’ve often found myself in social media debates about compartmentalizing personal and professional. The perspectives detailed above in combination with my current situation have reinforced my belief and tested my commitment to online character consistency. I understand that this path is not for everyone, but I have found it to be the only path for me.

It always felt great to finish up a long, hot day by removing the jacket… the tie… the dress shirt – what a relief! Albeit difficult at times to lay down our shields and expose our vulnerabilities, this choice will always lead us closer to the inner peace we deserve and the authentic relationships we aspire to cultivate. While making these strides towards personal transparency are crucial, it is important to take them at your own pace.

I’m lacing up my new red boots… to hell with suits! 😉

Photo Credit, puresolitude

  • Sylvie

    Great article, courageous and… yes authentic.

  • Sylvie

    Great article, courageous and… yes authentic.

  • http://www.SuperNack.com/ @SuperNack

    Coming out of highschool and into a new world of business I used to love the feeling of a new suit. I felt like one of “the big guys.” However, after a while it got old and I quickly found out, like you did, it wasn’t me.

    Loosening the tie may feel relieving but why not create a life where that kind of relief isn’t even neccessary? Where ties aren’t needed for social approval and success? There are always exceptions but I prefer to keep the majority of my ties in the “Halloween Costumes” pile.

    Thanks for the great post and I hope everything works out in this difficult season.

    Grace and Peace,
    Ryan Rotz of SuperNack

  • http://www.SuperNack.com @SuperNack

    Coming out of highschool and into a new world of business I used to love the feeling of a new suit. I felt like one of “the big guys.” However, after a while it got old and I quickly found out, like you did, it wasn’t me.

    Loosening the tie may feel relieving but why not create a life where that kind of relief isn’t even neccessary? Where ties aren’t needed for social approval and success? There are always exceptions but I prefer to keep the majority of my ties in the “Halloween Costumes” pile.

    Thanks for the great post and I hope everything works out in this difficult season.

    Grace and Peace,
    Ryan Rotz of SuperNack

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  • Shennee

    You are very brave Michael, I wish you nothing but the best in both future professional and personal endavors. Many blessings to you!
    Shennee

  • Shennee

    You are very brave Michael, I wish you nothing but the best in both future professional and personal endavors. Many blessings to you!
    Shennee

  • http://www.cincyrecruiter.com/ Jennifer McClure

    Michael – I appreciate your level of transparency here and while no one ever knows the “right” thing to say in difficult situations such as this, from my own experience, I know it’s important to at least say something. For those who use social media in the right way, it’s definitely possible to build a community of folks around you that care about you. Count me in that crowd and I wish you success and peace as you enter this next step in your journey. If I can ever help in any way, just let me know.

  • http://www.cincyrecruiter.com Jennifer McClure

    Michael – I appreciate your level of transparency here and while no one ever knows the “right” thing to say in difficult situations such as this, from my own experience, I know it’s important to at least say something. For those who use social media in the right way, it’s definitely possible to build a community of folks around you that care about you. Count me in that crowd and I wish you success and peace as you enter this next step in your journey. If I can ever help in any way, just let me know.

  • Tammy Colson

    well crafted, and heartfelt post, Michael.

    My own separation and divorce was a rather public affair in my little town, and it takes strength of character to be as transparent as possible (and realistic about the impact it has on your professional life) in the situation, while maintaining others privacy.

    Be well, and I wish you peace during your time of transition. Its not an easy road, but it does end, and remembering that made all the difference for me.

  • Tammy Colson

    well crafted, and heartfelt post, Michael.

    My own separation and divorce was a rather public affair in my little town, and it takes strength of character to be as transparent as possible (and realistic about the impact it has on your professional life) in the situation, while maintaining others privacy.

    Be well, and I wish you peace during your time of transition. Its not an easy road, but it does end, and remembering that made all the difference for me.

  • http://www.weekendletter.com/ Jon L. Long Sr.

    “gam zeh ya’avor” – “this too shall pass.” In my sixty four years, there is one thing I am sure of and that is that “nothing ever stays the same”, be it a suit or a mate. As I have suggested to you before in those times of difficult decisions, “follow your heart for that is your true path.” Good blog and good to share.

  • http://www.weekendletter.com Jon L. Long Sr.

    “gam zeh ya’avor” – “this too shall pass.” In my sixty four years, there is one thing I am sure of and that is that “nothing ever stays the same”, be it a suit or a mate. As I have suggested to you before in those times of difficult decisions, “follow your heart for that is your true path.” Good blog and good to share.

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort

    Nicely written and stated, Michael. There is no tougher time than these, and no better time to find yourself.

    I passed through similar straights about 7 years ago. Every minute sucked, and I didn’t have the network then I would now. I was lucky to have a few people to count on. Because of your good work and generosity, you have many.

    Stay focused as best as you can, and keep —

    Looking forward!

  • http://thehumanracehorses.com Michael VanDervort

    Nicely written and stated, Michael. There is no tougher time than these, and no better time to find yourself.

    I passed through similar straights about 7 years ago. Every minute sucked, and I didn’t have the network then I would now. I was lucky to have a few people to count on. Because of your good work and generosity, you have many.

    Stay focused as best as you can, and keep —

    Looking forward!

  • http://hrringleader.wordpress.com/ Trish McFarlane

    Michael,
    I applaud you for having the strength of character to handle your situation in the most thoughtful way possible. I think, as you point out in your post, that each of us shares bits and pieces of our personal lives in our own time. My hope for you is that your network of friends and supporters will help you through the next few months of challenge.

    As I read your post I kept thinking that all each of us can do is follow our heart. I see that your father (a very wise man) has given that advice in the comments section. If there is anything I can do to make your new path an easier one to walk, don’t hesitate to ask. So glad you shared yourself with us.

    Trish

  • http://hrringleader.wordpress.com Trish McFarlane

    Michael,
    I applaud you for having the strength of character to handle your situation in the most thoughtful way possible. I think, as you point out in your post, that each of us shares bits and pieces of our personal lives in our own time. My hope for you is that your network of friends and supporters will help you through the next few months of challenge.

    As I read your post I kept thinking that all each of us can do is follow our heart. I see that your father (a very wise man) has given that advice in the comments section. If there is anything I can do to make your new path an easier one to walk, don’t hesitate to ask. So glad you shared yourself with us.

    Trish

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  • http://www.radiantveracity.com/ Stephanie A. Lloyd

    My dear friend,

    First, I actually did like wearing suits. For a while. I enjoyed feeling so “put together” and corporate. That was in my 20s. Very early into my 30s I started to enjoy a more “business casual” – and then eventually casual – work atmosphere. I liked it.

    And now, I work at home, usually in PJs or jeans. And I LOVE IT. :-)

    Your post is well-written, which, knowing you, does not surprise me! Eloquent and sensitive. I would expect nothing less from you.

    While this can’t be an easy time, you are moving forward…and that, my friend, is the most important thing!

    Thank you so much for sharing. You take good care of yourself, and of course I am always here for you!

    Your friend,

    Stephanie

  • http://www.radiantveracity.com Stephanie A. Lloyd

    My dear friend,

    First, I actually did like wearing suits. For a while. I enjoyed feeling so “put together” and corporate. That was in my 20s. Very early into my 30s I started to enjoy a more “business casual” – and then eventually casual – work atmosphere. I liked it.

    And now, I work at home, usually in PJs or jeans. And I LOVE IT. :-)

    Your post is well-written, which, knowing you, does not surprise me! Eloquent and sensitive. I would expect nothing less from you.

    While this can’t be an easy time, you are moving forward…and that, my friend, is the most important thing!

    Thank you so much for sharing. You take good care of yourself, and of course I am always here for you!

    Your friend,

    Stephanie

  • http://www.blogging4jobs.com/ Jessica Miller-Merrell

    Transparency is becoming an important part of a professional’s online profile and relationship. It’s what makes us interesting and allows us to build real and meaningful relationships.

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR
    http://www.blogging4jobs.com

    @blogging4jobs

  • http://www.blogging4jobs.com Jessica Miller-Merrell

    Transparency is becoming an important part of a professional’s online profile and relationship. It’s what makes us interesting and allows us to build real and meaningful relationships.

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR
    http://www.blogging4jobs.com

    @blogging4jobs

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    You all rock! Thank you for the kind words and support. Much appreciated 😉

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    You all rock! Thank you for the kind words and support. Much appreciated 😉

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