Sustainability: Rosemary Lemonade and the Type

I love a good leopard or cheetah print; it’s not for everybody, but it works for me. I feel the same about Rosemary Lemonade; it’s got that extra zing. However, If you’re not a fan of lemonade or detest rosemary, you’re probably making a  squinch face even thinking about it. Nothing wrong with the lemonade and nothing wrong with you. It’s just not your thing. Typical advice for finding out why you didn’t get the job; in lieu of or in addition to asking for feedback, is to look at who did get hired. Four years ago, I interviewed for a position to recruit women and diversity hires for research. I made to the final round of two, but, did not get the position. The Senior Vice President wanted a PhD to talk to a PhD candidates. A  few weeks later, I saw the job went to a white male, recent  hire and newly minted PhD. Seeing who got hired  showed the type being sought and I was not the type. It doesn’t matter what I could bring to the role. Just like Rosemary Lemonade, nothing wrong with me, nothing wrong with hiring.

Similarly, for me, with dating. A couple of months ago, it came up in a conversation that I date a “type.” Looking at photos and friends can’t tell one from the other and descriptions of the “new” guy, sounds eerily close to the previous one. However, when I look at who they date before or after me, the woman is nothing like me; not in appearance, career or demeanor, nothing. What am I doing? Her response was brilliant. The woman with the MBA in sustainability, sighed, shook her head and smiled. “This is easy, you’re an anomaly. You are not the “type” for the guys you date; you are their anomaly.”  Queue light bulb moment. It’s a piece of clothing that’s not your style, it’s interesting, looks good, but not you. It’s the car you test drive, fun  but not practical for you in the long haul.

Sustainability, dating and jobs. This is not to say jobs are only available to certain types. Jobs are as open as people doing the hiring. Recognize this and the impact. If the people doing the hiring envision a certain “type,” and you’re not that type, it could be a problem as far as you getting that position. That’s the reality. However, when hiring is open there is possibility. The same is true for many things in life. When you look for a house, a car, you have a type in mind of what you want. We do life with a “type” in mind.

Fast forward to dating and jobs and lessons learned. Today, I absolutely, love, love my job. My role best leverages my talents. I saw my crush of the week from afar out on a date Saturday night; she looked nothing like me in appearance or mannerisms. Types.It’s a balance of being brave, vulnerable and going outside the box versus the reality of type casting. This week consider the rosemary lemonade situation. Are you able to situationally accept you’re just not the “type” without impunity? Life is sometimes rosemary lemonade, a little bittersweet with a twist.

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