Friday, December 21, 2012

There's A Goth In The Library!

Once I finished high school I went straight into college for two years. I completed a Diploma of Library and Information Services which qualifies me as a Library Technician. It's usually easier for me to tell people that I'm a Librarian, although technically I'm not. A Library Technician is a step lower than a Librarian, in many places we do the same work but we get paid less. For me to be a Librarian I would need to attend University, but I'm not willing to get into debt. Right now I'm very comfortable with my Library Technician role.

I was always a little worried that with my appearance I wouldn't be able to find work. But every person has a perfect workplace. From completing my Diploma I worked in a high school library, which had a feminist Librarian. She was really cool with how I looked. I'm a good worker, and I've never been disrespectful to people.

Libraries are supposed to be places of open minds, and it can be surprising the amount of old mean ladies that can inhabit such places. If a coworker didn't approve of my look I didn't care. My clothes were always neat and tidy, never against the dress code. Don't let people bully you. If your work conduct is perfect then they have no right to tell you how to live. There are lots of bitter people out there with nothing better to do than be mean. Their lives are so horrible that they take it out on other people, which is unfair. Just remember that you have done nothing wrong, if a coworker bully's you make sure to tell your manager!

You may need to tone down to get a job. This is what EVERYBODY does, that's why it's strange seeing someone outside of work because they look so different. I don't wear my usual Trad Goth clothes to work. Big hair and tight skirts are a bit uncomfortable for wearing all day.
Black is corporate, I'm always glad for that fact. I think I'd scream if pink was the corporate colour. Wear black pants or a skirt. Wear a black blouse, or maybe jewel tones if you don't mind colour.

I've never taken out piercings for my work. At my interview I change my piercing jewelry to clear retainers, but once I knew I had the job I didn't hide anything. I even got new piercings. I did dye my hair black for the job, but that was because I was bored of the previous colour. I quickly shaved and dyed my hair again! :)

Keep your makeup simple. I wear foundations and eyeliner/shadow. I started off with plain eyeliner, now I wear dark cats-eye makeup each day. I can't be bothered with lipstick, as it rubs off during the day. Do what feels appropriate for the situation.

Each workplace is different, you have to look around to see how far you can go. My current job is at a university library, a coworker of mine used to dye his hair. That tells me that my workplace is cool with hair colour, so I decided to colour mine.
Take it a little bit at a time, and soon enough you'll feel comfortable in your workplace while keeping your gothic personality.

Sadly, some workplaces are very strict. You have to decide if the workplace is right for you. Do you have to take out your piercings? No jewelery? Does your style stop you from climbing the job ladder?
It is possible to survive in a strict corporate workplace. There are lots of secret goths. You may have to bite the bullet and wear colour to work, bringing out your black wardrobe for the weekend.

Personally, I wear lots of black to work. Dresses, t-shirts, skirts. I'm casual, yet I don't look sloppy. I've sneaked in lots of different band t-shirts, usually on a Friday. I wear my Dr. Martens to work, because they're so comfy!
I'm very lucky to have great coworkers who know that I'm a big softy even though I look really scary. They always have a laugh when students stare at me :)
I think my work really appreciates me and my style. It's always something to talk about (even if it's about my hair needing to be dyed again)
Your style may be different from mine, try to pick a few key things. Do you enjoy lace and frills or something harder?

I hope that you have the same luck that I have. My qualifications and experience talk much more loudly than my gothic wardrobe.


Sweet Nothings said...

Sadly my job, which I love! Is very conservative no more crazy hair and I have a uniform, which I'm not too upset about because I don't have to think or worry about what to wear. I do sneak my skull jewellery and bats in I stated in halloween and then just continued on!

Where did you get your glasses from? I can never find nice ones when I'm looking it gives me the shits!

Bane said...

Great post! I think if you do good work and have the right attitude, those aspects should outweigh a "weird" wardrobe. :) I do tone it down a bit for interviews. Though the one time I made a big change for a job hunt - dyeing my purple hair black - I got hired over the phone. :P

Courtney Cadaver said...

Thanks for the great post! I've always been interested in librarian work and your advice is fantastic. People wonder how I get away with keeping my aesthetic in the workplace but I have a ton of experience and a great work ethic and attitude. I find that if you work hard and have a good attitude at work they overlook the heavy eyeliner and purple hair.