How much does appearance matter?

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Pearalegal
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby Pearalegal » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:15 pm

Waterman47 wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:It's different in OP's case, because most people would understand that there is some relation between her dress and her hand-shake policy. If she was dressed "normally" and refused to shake hands, it'd be different. So in that sense, I'm not sure that the hand-shake issue adds to the problem that much. Most would understand it to be an extension of the dress that they surely would have noticed. If they viewed her dress negatively, it wouldn't matter too much if she did shake hands. If they didn't view her dress negatively, a refusal to shake hands wouldn't create problems IMO.


I realize I'm coming off totally ignorant here, but guys can shake a females hand? I was assuming it went both ways. Wouldn't it have to?


No, I've always known it to go both ways. Didn't mean to imply that it doesn't. A Muslim guy observing strict Muslim teachings would refuse handshakes with the opposite gender.


Haha, oh, ok. Then I stand by my, I'd be stupidly awkward for a little bit comment. I punch shoulders too often. I'd probably be a stiff board in fears I'd offend anyone (then I'm sure I'd stop being such a bozo once I got to know the guy).

However, regardless if its risky, and might raise a few eyebrows, if its OP's belief, its her belief and she shouldn't compromise it. Obviously shes navigated the professional waters before and seemed to do well despite some awkwardness, so hopefully that will continue.

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goosey
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby goosey » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:16 pm

Pearalegal wrote:
Okie dokie, and please don't take my question at all negatively, but you've obviously had experience in awkward situations that arise from this--have you ever felt like they negatively impacted your employment chances or standing at the firm? Seems like you've done just fine. If not, then whooo!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Gotta say though, if a dude refused to shake my hand, I'd probably be terrified to do something wrong whenever I worked with him, haha. I'm impressed that you've been social adept enough to make male/female working relationships go smoothly. I'd probably make an ass out of myself.



I actually think I'm supremely awkward. Up until now I've only done internships..now that I have to think about firms and clients and all that scary stuff, I'm getting a little anxious. I actually do think working in the Middle East is an overall better fit for me, even aside from wardrobe and handshaking issues, I just dont know where to even begin to try and get a job there.

lol @ desert fox. but im going to study super hard and be #1 in my class, just like every other 0L on here.we're all winners :lol:

dakatz
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby dakatz » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:17 pm

goosey wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
Okie dokie, and please don't take my question at all negatively, but you've obviously had experience in awkward situations that arise from this--have you ever felt like they negatively impacted your employment chances or standing at the firm? Seems like you've done just fine. If not, then whooo!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Gotta say though, if a dude refused to shake my hand, I'd probably be terrified to do something wrong whenever I worked with him, haha. I'm impressed that you've been social adept enough to make male/female working relationships go smoothly. I'd probably make an ass out of myself.



I actually think I'm supremely awkward. Up until now I've only done internships..now that I have to think about firms and clients and all that scary stuff, I'm getting a little anxious. I actually do think working in the Middle East is an overall better fit for me, even aside from wardrobe and handshaking issues, I just dont know where to even begin to try and get a job there.

lol @ desert fox. but im going to study super hard and be #1 in my class, just like every other 0L on here.we're all winners :lol:


You seem to always have a wonderful attitude and outlook on things. Regardless of what you choose, you seem like the type who will find a way to make it work.

09042014
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:20 pm

goosey wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
Okie dokie, and please don't take my question at all negatively, but you've obviously had experience in awkward situations that arise from this--have you ever felt like they negatively impacted your employment chances or standing at the firm? Seems like you've done just fine. If not, then whooo!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Gotta say though, if a dude refused to shake my hand, I'd probably be terrified to do something wrong whenever I worked with him, haha. I'm impressed that you've been social adept enough to make male/female working relationships go smoothly. I'd probably make an ass out of myself.



I actually think I'm supremely awkward. Up until now I've only done internships..now that I have to think about firms and clients and all that scary stuff, I'm getting a little anxious. I actually do think working in the Middle East is an overall better fit for me, even aside from wardrobe and handshaking issues, I just dont know where to even begin to try and get a job there.

lol @ desert fox. but im going to study super hard and be #1 in my class, just like every other 0L on here.we're all winners :lol:


You are going for free at least. Look me up in three years on JDU and make fun of my egregious debt.

IMO if you do get interviews at top firms, dress like a white girl and make it up to allah later. It's your career. To many westerners covering yourself up looks more like shame than modesty.

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Waterman47
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby Waterman47 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:20 pm

goosey wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
Okie dokie, and please don't take my question at all negatively, but you've obviously had experience in awkward situations that arise from this--have you ever felt like they negatively impacted your employment chances or standing at the firm? Seems like you've done just fine. If not, then whooo!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Gotta say though, if a dude refused to shake my hand, I'd probably be terrified to do something wrong whenever I worked with him, haha. I'm impressed that you've been social adept enough to make male/female working relationships go smoothly. I'd probably make an ass out of myself.



I actually think I'm supremely awkward. Up until now I've only done internships..now that I have to think about firms and clients and all that scary stuff, I'm getting a little anxious. I actually do think working in the Middle East is an overall better fit for me, even aside from wardrobe and handshaking issues, I just dont know where to even begin to try and get a job there.

lol @ desert fox. but im going to study super hard and be #1 in my class, just like every other 0L on here.we're all winners :lol:


Several BigLaw firms have offices in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. I highlighted my experiences related to the Middle East on my resume for OCI interviews with those firms, and they definitely seemed open to the idea of hiring someone, training them, and then sending them to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

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Waterman47
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby Waterman47 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:22 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
goosey wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:
Okie dokie, and please don't take my question at all negatively, but you've obviously had experience in awkward situations that arise from this--have you ever felt like they negatively impacted your employment chances or standing at the firm? Seems like you've done just fine. If not, then whooo!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Gotta say though, if a dude refused to shake my hand, I'd probably be terrified to do something wrong whenever I worked with him, haha. I'm impressed that you've been social adept enough to make male/female working relationships go smoothly. I'd probably make an ass out of myself.



I actually think I'm supremely awkward. Up until now I've only done internships..now that I have to think about firms and clients and all that scary stuff, I'm getting a little anxious. I actually do think working in the Middle East is an overall better fit for me, even aside from wardrobe and handshaking issues, I just dont know where to even begin to try and get a job there.

lol @ desert fox. but im going to study super hard and be #1 in my class, just like every other 0L on here.we're all winners :lol:


You are going for free at least. Look me up in three years on JDU and make fun of my egregious debt.

IMO if you do get interviews at top firms, dress like a white girl and make it up to allah later. It's your career. To many westerners covering yourself up looks more like shame than modesty.


Just.. don't go there. Thread has been civilized so far, no need to make light of OP's beliefs.

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goosey
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby goosey » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:23 pm

dakatz wrote:
You seem to always have a wonderful attitude and outlook on things. Regardless of what you choose, you seem like the type who will find a way to make it work.



awwww thanks :)


waterman, what kinds of things did you have on your resume, if you dont mind me asking? Id like to set myself up for something similar to what you described

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Waterman47
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby Waterman47 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:27 pm

goosey wrote:
dakatz wrote:
You seem to always have a wonderful attitude and outlook on things. Regardless of what you choose, you seem like the type who will find a way to make it work.



awwww thanks :)


waterman, what kinds of things did you have on your resume, if you dont mind me asking? Id like to set myself up for something similar to what you described


Worked at the UN for a Middle Eastern nation + some volunteering with Muslim kids. But I think given your dress, they'll take you at you word if you express a serious interest in working for them in the Middle East. I needed to trump up my own interest in doing so because you wouldn't really be able to discern my background given my appearance.

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dresden doll
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby dresden doll » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:28 pm

I can't imagine how you'll manage working at a firm without ever shaking hands with male partners/clients. Is that really something that must be avoided at all costs?

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existenz
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby existenz » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:32 pm

Even though humor is a good way to help us bridge differences, I'm gonna stay out of this one. Good luck Goosey.

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goosey
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby goosey » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:36 pm

dresden doll wrote:I can't imagine how you'll manage working at a firm without ever shaking hands with male partners/clients. Is that really something that must be avoided at all costs?



thanks for the info waterman.

dresden, I mean, its not like I will melt or anything..its just that I really prefer not to. I dont want to feel like I compromised my beliefs for my career.

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dresden doll
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby dresden doll » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:40 pm

goosey wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I can't imagine how you'll manage working at a firm without ever shaking hands with male partners/clients. Is that really something that must be avoided at all costs?



thanks for the info waterman.

dresden, I mean, its not like I will melt or anything..its just that I really prefer not to. I dont want to feel like I compromised my beliefs for my career.


While I wouldn't have a problem with your beliefs/dress/customs, I might be a little wary of hiring someone that could potentially inadvertently offend a client by declining to shake hands. I don't want to be insensitive, but that does seem like it might be an issue.

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Waterman47
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby Waterman47 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:42 pm

dresden doll wrote:
goosey wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I can't imagine how you'll manage working at a firm without ever shaking hands with male partners/clients. Is that really something that must be avoided at all costs?



thanks for the info waterman.

dresden, I mean, its not like I will melt or anything..its just that I really prefer not to. I dont want to feel like I compromised my beliefs for my career.


While I wouldn't have a problem with your beliefs/dress/customs, I might be a little wary of hiring someone that could potentially inadvertently offend a client by declining to shake hands. I don't want to be insensitive, but that does seem like it might be an issue.


Good point here.

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como
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby como » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:53 pm

I think there will be opportunities in many interviews to address your dress and your values. Once they ask "tell me about yourself," or something to that effect, just say something like "you probably noticed that I'm dressed differently than most of your other interviewees." Then turn a confident spin on your identity, your interests, your skills, etc.

This way, you come off as confident, authentic, and candid. It helps to be able to play it off in a loose and somewhat playful manner too. Obviously, you don't want to sacrifice your values. But interviewers generally like people who are honest and have a degree of self-depricating humor. Try to use it to your advantage and they will think you're great and your appearance wont matter.

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zanda
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby zanda » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:05 pm

Just curious- is the Muslim population distributed such that there are particular parts of the country with decent-sized religious populations? If so, maybe you could be an asset to firms in such areas.

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dresden doll
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby dresden doll » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:07 pm

zanda wrote:Just curious- is the Muslim population distributed such that there are particular parts of the country with decent-sized religious populations? If so, maybe you could be an asset to firms in such areas.


No offense to the OP, but BLS JD isn't particularly portable.

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zanda
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby zanda » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:08 pm

dresden doll wrote:
zanda wrote:Just curious- is the Muslim population distributed such that there are particular parts of the country with decent-sized religious populations? If so, maybe you could be an asset to firms in such areas.


No offense to the OP, but BLS JD isn't particularly portable.

That's fair. Reformed question- is there a decent-sized religious Muslim population in NYC?

hopefulIPgirl
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby hopefulIPgirl » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:11 pm

como wrote:I think there will be opportunities in many interviews to address your dress and your values. Once they ask "tell me about yourself," or something to that effect, just say something like "you probably noticed that I'm dressed differently than most of your other interviewees." Then turn a confident spin on your identity, your interests, your skills, etc.

This way, you come off as confident, authentic, and candid. It helps to be able to play it off in a loose and somewhat playful manner too. Obviously, you don't want to sacrifice your values. But interviewers generally like people who are honest and have a degree of self-depricating humor. Try to use it to your advantage and they will think you're great and your appearance wont matter.


That's actually an awesome idea, como!

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goosey
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby goosey » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:33 pm

hopefulIPgirl wrote:
como wrote:I think there will be opportunities in many interviews to address your dress and your values. Once they ask "tell me about yourself," or something to that effect, just say something like "you probably noticed that I'm dressed differently than most of your other interviewees." Then turn a confident spin on your identity, your interests, your skills, etc.

This way, you come off as confident, authentic, and candid. It helps to be able to play it off in a loose and somewhat playful manner too. Obviously, you don't want to sacrifice your values. But interviewers generally like people who are honest and have a degree of self-depricating humor. Try to use it to your advantage and they will think you're great and your appearance wont matter.


That's actually an awesome idea, como!


agreed. awesome advice, thanks

nleefer
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby nleefer » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:50 pm

I'm obviously not familiar with your particular beliefs regarding physical contact, so take this with a grain of salt.

It seems that there is near consensus that shaking hands with the opposite sex is generally prohibited. However, at the same time some scholars have suggested that it would be permissible in certain circumstances.

"The prohibition of handshaking is based on the concept of "Forbidding acts which lead to greater harm" (Saddu Tharee'a). Thus, the cause of prohibition is not the act of handshaking in itself, but rather external factors that were involved in the act. Hence, it is from the minor sins, not the major sins. The same reasoning applies to gazing at the opposite gender."

"In a situation where a woman (or vice versa) who does not know of this ruling or even of Islam extends her arm and you shook hands with her, then you have not fallen into sin In Sha'llah. Reason being I wouldn't want you turning down his/her handshake to lead to a greater harm. I wouldn't want it to spark a negative reaction towards their view of Islam, or even lead them to feel emotionally hurt."

"In addition, it can be said that handshaking in college or job interviews would be permissible. I say so from the perspective of regarding the culture of the people in America who generally view handshaking and making eye contact during a dialogue to be very significant issues of character. In addition, college and job interviews are a necessity, and formal meetings such as these eliminate the fear of fitna. Since these are necessities, then we can apply the concept which states: Acts that have been prohibited due to external factors can be allowed in a case which there is a need. "

Source: --LinkRemoved--

This is just one opinion, but it is something to consider when thinking about your career and your faith. Good luck to you.

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A'nold
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:30 pm

YCrevolution wrote:
A'nold wrote:Why do women have to wear the scarf?

That was not the question OP was asking, and is not relevant to answering OP's question.*

*This means: don't do it again.


Seriously? It was a real question, not meant to offend at all. Sorry we all aren't mature enough to ask questions on here.

Warning? Really?

Why do women have to wear a headscarf?

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dresden doll
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby dresden doll » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:35 pm

A'nold wrote:
YCrevolution wrote:
A'nold wrote:Why do women have to wear the scarf?

That was not the question OP was asking, and is not relevant to answering OP's question.*

*This means: don't do it again.


Seriously? It was a real question, not meant to offend at all. Sorry we all aren't mature enough to ask questions on here.

Warning? Really?

Why do women have to wear a headscarf?


I don't think YCR is concerned with whether or not you asked your question in good faith. He's concerned with preventing detractions from the original topic. The thread is supposed to assist OP with her clothing concerns, and I assume he doesn't want it turned into a Q and A session w/r/t intricacies of the Islamic religion.

Really, if you want an explanation, you can use google.

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YCrevolution
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby YCrevolution » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:43 pm

..

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acrossthelake
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:
hopefulIPgirl wrote:
como wrote:I think there will be opportunities in many interviews to address your dress and your values. Once they ask "tell me about yourself," or something to that effect, just say something like "you probably noticed that I'm dressed differently than most of your other interviewees." Then turn a confident spin on your identity, your interests, your skills, etc.

This way, you come off as confident, authentic, and candid. It helps to be able to play it off in a loose and somewhat playful manner too. Obviously, you don't want to sacrifice your values. But interviewers generally like people who are honest and have a degree of self-depricating humor. Try to use it to your advantage and they will think you're great and your appearance wont matter.


That's actually an awesome idea, como!


This. This. This. Addressing it head on is the way to go. I know we all what a job, but if a firm isn't comfortable with your culture and beliefs, you don't want to work there anyways, correct?

Also, maybe try to focus on employers that have a good deal of middle eastern clients, and play your background as an advantage to understanding their culture and business dynamic.

This is MUCH more minor of a situation, but I was in Asia, out to lunch with a biglaw partner (60+ y/o chinese man) at a very nice restaurant. He ordered an 8 course set meal for us (small portions on each course). Many of the courses, as I feared, contained pork. I do not eat pork for religious reasons. Instead of waiting for him to ask me why I wasn't eating, I just explained why. Dietary restrictions are not very well understood in Asia like there are in the US, so it was awkward for a moment, but the rest of the lunch went smoothly. He even asked the server to replace the pork dishes with something else for me. I think people CAN be receptive of cultural differences, especially if you spin them in a positive light.


Side note--actually depending on the area of Asia, there are religious dietary restrictions over there as well---many Buddhists won't eat beef, for example. They're often unfamiliar with the dietary restrictions of western religions, however. And yes, to OP I would really try to ask around from those who have come before you who had to make this choice.

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audrey hepburn
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Re: How much does appearance matter?

Postby audrey hepburn » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:09 pm

I think if you get good grades in school and work hard people will want to hire you whether you wear an abayya or not. Yeah, it will definitely be more difficult, but it can be done. And it will be hard in the beginning. After a while, when you have gained experience and become a well reputed lawyer, people will WANT to hire YOU.

Focus on school for now, and don't worry about "what ifs" until the time comes. You will be fine.




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