Question from Sam about cutting hair for a job
(Note from Juji: I shortened the following e-mail.)
Hi, Juji. I know this is unrelated to fitness, but I feel you were a good person to ask about this and I’m desperate.
… I got into an industrial engineering internship (which is for 11 or so weeks) at a Fortune 500 company with damn good pay … I am sure I can turn it into a positive for future interviews … My internship, has guidelines which require me to cut my long hair. It’s not scraggly, greasy, or bad-looking. It is presentable hair. It took me years to grow it to the length I like… I’m already wincing on the inside just thinking that I have to cut it.
- Is this gonna be the deal for the rest of my engineering career?
- Can I never have long hair in the industry?
- Am I gonna be screwing my self over by not taking this one internship?
- Should I “obey the man” or stand up for my style/looks?
- Am I gonna go for hungry and poor yet stylish by never cutting my hair?
I know you’re not an engineer but if you have any info on this or just in general for firms and working in the real world, I’d greatly appreciate it.
No bullshit: cut that shit off. I can tell you’re already making up reasons why you should cut it. So do it, hair grows back fast, it takes like 14 months from a full buzz. That’s not a long time at all. Especially as you get older and time continues to pass faster and faster. But here’s the bigger question:
When is it ever appropriate to cut your hair?
The only reason it would ever be appropriate to cut your hair, as a man, when you don’t want to, is gainz. Cutting your hair here can give you big gainz. How? Fucking simple. Think about the big picture. You’re in an in-experienced life position where you have little value to others and no money. But here’s a good chance of getting some experience and lots of cash and getting on track so you can get an easy job in the future (Engineering is the perfect field for finding an easy job. It’s the best. I envy you for choosing that, I wish I had myself.) And you can use the money immediately to purchase food and supplements, gym equipment for your house, a better mattress to sleep on, awesome kitchen equipment, stocks, etc. And any romantic relationship you could have will benefit from $$$. You will have more friends, skills, muscles, and fun with more money and gainz. All you gotta do is cut your hair this one time, then you can get your grips, show your merits, leverage your new income, and finally, grow your hair back later if you want.
What about conforming? Are you a conformist if you cut your hair? Look, don’t listen to those teenage jack-fucks who make talk about “conforming” when you cooperate with any group about an agreed upon code of dress. Actually, you’re already conforming! You’re already a conformist! You’re conforming to the pre-conceived societal pressure to not conform. You’re afraid of being labeled a conformist for cutting your hair! You’re conforming to some group’s idea that you are a conformist if you cut your hair. They’re wrong though, they confuse cooperation for conformity. Don’t confuse cooperation for conformity. This is cooperation not conformity. Cooperation is a key element in living a life worth a damn. Unless you’re an ant. Then I really don’t know what to say.
I mean, fuck, what if your internship was with a world renowned powerlifting group – bodybuilding group – acrobatic performance group – [insert any fucking awesome group here]? Would you imagine people would call you a conformist then for cutting your hair for a universally understood awesome opportunity like that? Train with the best performance athletes in the world for a measly, temporary haircut? They wouldn’t label you as a conformist, they’d label you as a lucky fuck!!! So why would someone say you’re a conformist for cutting your hair for an engineering opportunity? Because they’re way too stupid to see the possibility for gainz, that’s why. Look, this is a big deal: $$$, experience, fun, possibly an easy job in the future with this on your resume = GAINZ dude. Big fucking gainz. You can get it with this engineering opportunity. Now cooperate and cut your god damned hair!
And dude it’s just a temporary setback. Hair grows back. This isn’t forever. Think of it in training-world terms: we take a step back to take two steps forward. If you never give anything up you never get anything new. So, as a fellow long hair myself, and having cut my own hair for a job in the past, I know you can miss it and not feel like yourself with the short cut. It feels bad. Long hair is really, deeply, important to me on some sort of inner-soul-existential level of some sort. Without it I feel neutered. You will feel bad too. Fucking suck it up and deal with it.
What you’re going to learn like I did when you cut your hair, is that having long hair as an adult male in contemporary societies is something you earn. Sure, when we were kids we just skipped a few cuts and we were metal, viking, free-thinkers; perhaps rastafarian gurus, perhaps old-school barbarian-warrior-warlords fuck-whatever. Actually we were still just stupid kids who wanted to be these things when we weren’t and we thought growing our hair was just the ticket… But nobody gave a fuck because we were just kids, nobody takes kids seriously. As an adult, with an adult job, that pays adult money, you won’t be taken seriously until you can prove yourself. Until you have experience somewhere good. Sure you can find convenient, non-discriminating jobs at Starbucks or Hot Topic or Outback Steakhouse, but those will kick you off the gain train. Too much work, too little pay. This engineering job will put you on the gain train by paying you sacks of cash money and conserving your physical energies for lunch hour training or after work training opportunities. Be brave, stay on this gain train. Think longer term.
Now, the company you want to intern with wants you to take them seriously by proving to them you can cooperate. They want to give you the experience, but they just need to know that you can cooperate here this one time. If the opportunity is as good as you say it is, you should cooperate. Stop using heavy words like “obey” and “conform” and “the man” and “the system” … They’re not appropriate here. You don’t need to make this into something heavier and bigger than it really is. Using those kind of words blows this all out of proportion. Nobody really gives a shit about your hair anyway. It’s just a shit-test… (Unless we’re talking about the military, then it’s a practicality). Nobody tells a 15 years experienced software engineer who has contributed to winning projects that their hair needs cut. And if someone did, that software engineer would laugh at them and find another job or gig because they’re so damn good at what they do they don’t have to scrounge or beg, they choose. Because they’re the prize. They’ve proved themselves. And perhaps that proving started way back one day in their early twenties when they had to cut their hair to get the chance to show somebody what they were made of… But now, today, people come to them. They finally have experience. They’ve earned that. Just like they’ve earned their hair.
And now so must you. Prove to yourself and everyone around you that you are seriously good at shit. Get some gainz. Then nobody is going to give a shit about you growing your hair back. Earn and save enough money and the whole situation becomes null anyway. Make it your goal to earn your hair back. Whether it be through forwarding your career through this opportunity, or for finding a way to be the boss, or support yourself as your own boss one day, or accrue enough money so you don’t have to think about it or what an employer would think about your hair: whatever happens: your hair will be much, much more valuable to you when you step into harder worlds and have to fight bigger fights for it.
So cut your hair now. But strive never, ever to cut it again.