I was at a party in Los Angeles in the late 1990s. As I approached the food table, there was a man standing there. He had several piercings in his face: eyebrows, nose, everywhere. He also had one in his tongue and tho, he thpoke with a lithp. He said “How are you?” and I said I was very tired from a long day at work. He said, “Oh, me too.” I wondered what kind of job someone who looked like him could have, so I asked what he did. To my surprise, he said, “I’m a freelance civil engineer.” My jaw must’ve dropped because he then said, “Oh, I know. Who would hire someone who looks like me, right?” I nodded, trying not to look too naïve about it. He pointed to his face. “This is who I am and I’m not going to compromise. I knew nobody would want to hire someone who looks like me, so I worked my ass off to be the best there is. The city of Los Angeles is one of my clients. I get so many requests I have to turn down work now.”
To anyone who doesn’t fit the “conventional looking 9-to-5 mold” but worries it may hinder them in life: this just shows what you can accomplish if you have talent, determination, and persistence. It’s a harder road to follow but the payoff is sweeter, too.