When I was in my third year of University I got an accounting job at Mosaic Potash. I liked it, had a lot of fun, which you wouldn’t think you could (apologies to the accounting profession) but plain and simple, accounting was not exciting to me, so I made my own fun (I’ll save the stories for another post).
You couldn’t be that creative in the accounting department so being the kind of guy who likes to standout I would occasionally wear white shoes with a matching white belt, it looked good. A few months after stepping outside the fashion bubble to discover my new found love for various different colored shoes I found something quite odd.
People remembered me.
Yes I was the loud kid but there were other loud people too, one employee from out of town actually began calling me “billy white shoes”. I had created a semantic marker in people’s minds that tied a visual characteristic to a face and a name. Now I don’t claim to be a personal branding expert but I knew I was on to something.
Moral of the story: If you want people to remember you, you must do something a little different. You can’t stick with the status quo, you have to shake it up a bit. Throughout your career you will have many opportunities to leave an impression on people, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to standout in the crowd, but sometimes all you have to do is wear white shoes.