When I first sat down to write this article, I was focused on how to get noticed in any room. After stumbling upon this quote on Pinterest, I realized there’s so much more to life than being noticed that one can control. However, you can get noticed for being 6 ft 5, stumbling drunk around the room, or having a loud laugh. Most of these are out of your immediate control. Or you can take initiative and work towards being remembered on your own terms.
Channel Your Inner Olivia Pope to Be Remembered
On the other hand, we’ve all been in a room where someone walks in, heads turn, and you think “WHO IS SHE?!” We’ve all envied that person at one point or another. Sometimes, we may even be here. For women like these, their confidence boils down to a few things they realize:
- 1. Who they are
- 2. What their end goal is
- 3. When they commit to something, they know they can follow through
- 4. Where they are headed
- 5. Why they are in this particular room instead of another
- 6. How fantastic they look when they enter the room
While I’m a firm believer in faking it until you make it, I struggled with the first and last point more often than not. I discovered this lesson early in high school when I was known as “The Girl with the Hair” in high school. I would walk down the hallway and hear mentions of my hair, simply because it was so much different than the pin-straight hair and perfect side bangs that were “in” a-la 2010. While it’s not quite as unique as a Dragon Tattoo, it definitely got me noticed whether I liked it or not.
After learning to control my hair (thank god for a great hair stylist!!), I realized I needed something else to get me remembered. This slowly morphed its way into the current persona of Simply, AMEN. As I navigated the college social scene, I was also navigating an internship in the startup community in my college town. I was by far the youngest person in the room at every event. I thought I stood out because I was the only person who wasn’t legally old enough to hold a drink. I later discovered, everyone remembered me because I was taking initiative when others weren’t even in the room.
I was taking initiative when others weren’t even in the room.
My focus then shifted from “I’m so out of place.” To how can I take advantage of this? I began to focus on the middle points as I built my reputation as “The Startup Queen,” someone who bridged the gap between the University and community known for following through with a commitment. After realizing I was exactly where I needed to be, others started to remember my name as something other than “The Boss’s Intern.” Soon, I was handed opportunities others vied for BECAUSE I was so much younger. If I had kept the previous mentality of “I don’t belong here” then I would have never discovered my passion for community building (or this blog!).
Recreate Their Confidence
So how can you recreate this to feel more at place when you’re the youngest in the room or another situation?
Be Engaged with the Conversation
I’m a firm believer in everyone knows something you don’t know. When you’re the youngest in the room, you have a lot to learn from everyone else. This could be navigating the politics of the room, discovering an internship for a friend, or even keeping up with the latest trends. (I recommend subscribing to some of these newsletters to stay current with world issues and pop culture.)
Be Comfortable Passing Along Opportunities
As my reputation as an accessible college student with a vast network started spreading, I was asked to work for free in a lot of situations. However, there are only 24 hours in a day. This allowed me to pick what would be fun or add a new skill. When something wasn’t a good fit, I passed it along to a friend who was searching for a similar opportunity. This became a Win-Win for all parties involved.
Admit When You Don’t Know Something (or Someone!)
Asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness if it’s overused; when you’re just starting out, everyone is willing to help. All you need to do is ask! This comes in handy when you need an introduction.
If you do ask for an introduction: MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THROUGH! There are few things worse than someone to put in the time and energy to send a message or hold a conversation on your behalf, only for you to drop the ball.
Share Your Value: Strike Up a Conversation!
Networking is the next step to where you want to be in life. If you sit in the corner, everything is going to pass you buy. Think of something to engage with others, even if it’s “What brings you here today?” Just as everyone knows something you don’t know: You know something others don’t know. Share what you know with the world!
My Secret Weapon
If you can’t muster up the courage speak to someone, a crowded room can become suffocating. However, there’s a simple way to encourage people to approach you. I’ve found the best way to encourage someone to approach you is to wear something that gets you noticed, with confidence!
Luckily, statement pieces have became a trend while 80s hair is still waiting to make its comeback. Statement pieces can range from a necklace to a well-tailored, bright dress to a fun tie.
Wearing something that gets you noticed reduces the barriers for someone to come speak to you, assuming it’s within reason. Because, chances are, someone else is more terrified than you of starting a conversation! It’s so much easier to give someone a compliment that leads into a conversation than it is to introduce yourself right out of the gate.
I love walking up to someone I’ve never met and asking them where they got their dress or their shoes or their Santa Claus tie (true story) that look absolutely STUNNING! They automatically light up and the conversation tends to flow from there. At the end of the day, everyone loves to receive a compliment!
Looking for how to use your secret weapon? Check out these Fashion blogger’s takes here: