Friday, March 2, 2012

My Hat Collection

I've always loved hats. Put a hat on and my personality shifts. The white Nike baseball cap I wear for walks in the park lends a different air than the men's style fedora I might wear out to a restaurant and never take off. There are the big, wide brimmed straw hats for the beach, the black cashmere french beret pulled down to cover my forehead, the bright red bubble hat inherited from my mother or the very practical woolen cap whose purpose is only to keep my ears warm on a cold, snowy day.

I collect hats the way I collect jewelry and scarves. They're items that never go completely out of style. You can stow them away and forget about them until you notice that the one  Harper's Bazaar is touting as the season's  new must have is already in your closet.

In fashion it has always been acceptable to own a variety of hats, but in work not so. We are ingrained at a young age to decide what our work hat is going to be. We look for one that fits us properly. That we like not only the way it looks, but the way we feel when we wear it. We are told by the end of  sophomore year in college you must choose one that will last us for life, a seemingly impossibly long time to live with just one option.

But things are changing. The world is not so linear and clear cut. Most of us will wear multiple hats over the course of our careers due to our own choice or the one someone else makes for us.  What I notice lately is how many of us wear more than one in any given week.

I have my author hat which is slightly different than my writer hat, depending on my project. My blogger hat. My business coach hat. My sales consultant hat. And those are just my work hats. Some weeks I change my hats on an hourly basis, forced to pause to not get confused where and who I am supposed to be.

I am not alone. A few weeks ago I attended a women's luncheon. As we went around the room introducing ourselves, everyone took notice that not one person was doing just one job. Everyone had their own individual hat collection.

It's the way of the world now. Part of what is occurring as our economy shifts away from this big corporate model that insists upon pigeon holing people.

Having a collection requires more work, more skill and adaptability. There are few days when you can just go through the motions and wait for the clock to say 5 so you go collect your paycheck. The trade-off is discovering how much more fun it is to find that there is more than one style that feels good, fits and yes, works!

Do you have a work hat collection or are you wearing just one?
What's on today?


Colette Martin said...

Oh yes! Many hats. I was never good at choosing just one hat and sticking to it. Maybe this new world is better for people like us!

Unknown said...

I think we are helping to create this new world!