You can distinguish yourself in a number of ways. But, if what you do to distinguish yourself is not relevant to the context, then it is pure noise.
For example, you decide to stand out by getting on a punk hairstyle. The next day you will get a lot of attention from colleagues at your workplace. There will be a lot of questions for you. You will be the talk of the town.
Let’s take two scenarios:
#1. You are working for a fashion magazine and this month you were going to interview a lot of people with punk hairstyles. You were going to lead that team. By putting on a punk hairstyle, you made a bold statement. Hats off to you!
This is a relevant difference.
Note: I am not advising you to go that far to make a statement.
#2. You are working as a software engineer and you are surrounded by a lot of cool dudes. You want to look cool too, so you go for the punk hairstyle.
This is noise.
In both cases, you are bound to get a lot of attention. In the first case, there is awe and in the second case people are simply annoyed.
Question for you:
Reflect on the choices you may be making to stand out? Are those producing a relevant difference or noise?
Photo courtesy: Stephen Bowler on Flickr