pantone color wheel on desk

Question the Status Quo In a Job Search

Shant Markarian Blog

pantone color wheel on desk

In a move that was destined to create shockwaves around the fashion and design worlds, the Pantone Color Institute has chosen—wait for it—the blending of two shades instead of selecting one.

Pantone is a company that earned its fame by developing a system of matching colors that is used in commercial printing and related industries such as fabrics and plastics. Its color of the year project is Pantone’s way of stamping each year with a symbolic shade.

This year, Pantone chose two colors—Rose Quartz, a shade of pink, and Serenity, described as very close to baby blue. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the pairing of the two colors “embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace.”

Before you dismiss the Pantone color of the year as a mere publicity stunt, you should know that this process has repercussions across many industries. Take fashion for example; Chanel, Prada, Thom Browne and Fendi have already included the two colors in collections this year and early next.

Still, the decision to choose two colors was somewhat risky. In this instance, however, the decision to pair two colors was part of a bid by the company to challenge traditional perceptions about colors and how they are associated with each other.

The takeaway here is that Pantone demonstrated the value of constantly questioning the status quo. The people at Pantone appear to have asked themselves, “I know we’ve done it this way for years, but why can’t we do things differently?”

Pantone has demonstrated the value of breaking free of old ways of thinking, and constantly challenging ourselves to find new ideas and approaches. These are important words to live by, particularly for those of us in the throes of a job search.

Many people looking for a new job typically start by looking for a similar version of their old jobs. Even though, the new job should be a better job, and that might mean changing our mindsets about what a “good” job looks like.

That is, of course, easier said than done. Most of us will have trouble summoning new ideas simply by telling ourselves to “think differently.” To prime the mental pump a bit, try these three simple tips:

  1. Try putting yourself into the mindset of someone else. Thinking about your perspective, while valid, is familiar and singularly subjective. Ask yourself, “What would I do in this situation if I wore a different hat?”
  2. Take calculated risks and be willing to make mistakes. Many scientific breakthroughs were actually the result of experiments “gone wrong.” It’s OK to take chances and operate outside the rulebook.
  3. Soak up the experience of others. Meet with people you respect and ask them what they would do if they were looking for a new job. It’s almost certain one of them will open up a new idea, strategy or perspective.

Most of us will deny it, but we know that just because an idea worked once does not mean it will work over and over again. Success in any field requires changing our approach and ideas.

Pantone broke with tradition and it was just as successful as before. Apply the Pantone approach to job searches, always question the status quo and the sky can be the limit.

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