This is my hair today – at 8:15 AM on my way to work, to be exact. I have less than two years to enjoy my locks, as apparently if I have hair this length after 40 I run the very serious risk of looking rather sad and dated. That’s right – the brilliant minds over at The Careerist are concerned that I’m nearly Too Old for That Joni Mitchell Look. I run the risk of damaging my career.
This makes me sad. You see, I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with my hair. This cell phone pic doesn’t show you exactly how RED my hair really is. That’s right folks, I’m a ginger. I’ve heard every carrot top / Wendy’s / freckle face joke there is. It wasn’t until probably my early 30’s that I finally started appreciating my hair. It’s an unusual shade – more strawberry blonde I suppose, but not a hue anyone else in my family has (and I come from a long line of redheads). I’ve also tried short hair, but I look weird. I have a giant head and prominent features, so short hair just makes everything look… odd.
The bigger issue is this – job seekers are up against all sorts of challenges when it comes to the interview process. Do they have the right resume, educational background and skills? Are they a culture fit? For professional women, do they now really have to start worrying about the length of their hair? Are we, as recruiters, judging candidates based on something as non-essential as this? In fairness, this is a blog targeted to the legal community. Maybe it’s different for lawyers (It shouldn’t be). Plus, there’s an exceptional and hilarious rebuttal written by Maria de Cesare found here – also featured in the Huffington Post.
Here’s what I do know. I will probably want a promotion someday. I may even interview for a job elsewhere, in the distant future. I’ll most definitely be (gasp!) over 40. With long hair. The idea that my hair length would somehow hold me back is laughable. If flipping, twisting, and caressing my strawberry locks is wrong, I don’t want to be right.