Ask Jujimufu 11 – Cut long hair for job?

June 6, 2015 Other

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.

– Sam

My Answer:

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.

Jujimufu hair deadlifting

Had I not cut my hair sometime years back for a good job, I wouldn’t have been able to afford or support my level’ed up training lifestyle now. It was worth it. And in fact, I still have that same job. Which I love. And I have my hair back. Which I also love. Looks like I won with my longer term perspective.

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.

acrobolix_ants_cooperation

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.

acrobolix_ayn_rand_non_conformist

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.

29 comments

  1. Sam says:

    Thanks for writing this up! I appreciate the detailed insight and I really see your point. I can increase my chances of having a better everything else (but the hair) at the cost of one temporary haircut (or maybe two if I go for my master’s as I would try to get another internship in between the fourth and final years of my five-year program). Whether it’s fair, unfair, cruel, or whatever, the dilemma, it just IS. I can’t do anything about it. I’m just left with that choice, and I think it was a good one that I made (I cut it).

    And as someone was saying to me amidst all this, one’s look is important, but that too should not be the only thing to define someone. So there’s this as well.

    The hair will grow back, as you’ve said, but this opportunity at this time in my life won’t come back. The opportunity to get this experience and any subsequent experience I may get as a result will not.

    I’m reminded of this scene from the tv show Suits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkRDzqZOGFc

    I think it really gets at what you’ve helped me see in this article. I think you’ll enjoy the above video. It was impactful when I saw it for the first time years ago. One of those powerful, insightful quotes that one should know but it still resonates greatly in one.

    A lot of people think it was a good sacrifice I made. I see what you say about the conforming aspect of this. I’m doing it for me, my future, not to fit in with people and get them to like me in a needy way as some non-conformists might see it.

    By the way, it’s awesome to hear that about engineering. I like engineering but I’d also like to indulge in other stuff in life. So having that option available is neat :).

    Thanks for taking the time to help and give me a guide entering into the real world! I feel like I could apply the message in here in an even broader context. Much appreciated.

    I also get to experiment with shorter hair styles, so that’s a plus. Although I’m leaning towards the longish hair part of the continuum, lol. And my cats get to play to their hearts’ content with my ponytail ties :p, hah. And the money money!

    • Johnny B says:

      Speaking as an engineer, it’s generally a lot easier to find jobs that don’t care if you have long hair in engineering. At my last job, I asked my boss if the fact that I had long hair made any difference in his decision and would I have looked better as a candidate had I cut my hair. He said no. In engineering they care about what you can do, not what you look like. Unfortunately, when you’re still at the applying for internships level, you don’t have any track record of what you can do, so something like cutting your hair might make a difference.

      In the future, though, especially if you prove yourself like Juji was talking about, people are going to come to you asking you to work for them instead of the other way around, and they’re not going to care how long your hair is if they know you have the skills that they need.

      • Steve says:

        One bad thing about engineering firms (at least in my 7 years experience) is that a some of them are still bogged down with a lot archaeic in-house rules e.g. men not allowed to have long hair, blocking of gmail and other non-outlook mailing sites, not allowing any other web browser than IE etc.

        I find it astonishing that companies can discriminate against whether a person has long hair but not against things like smoking.

  2. Coincidentally Laci Green just posted a Youtube video complaining about the sexism since some females get fired or rejected from jobs for not wearing make up. She failed to mention that males suffer the same for not shaving, for having long hair, or for dressing feminine.

    Also, the winning computer programs for Prisoner’s Dilemma were Tit For Tat and Double Tit For Tat. They both start with cooperate, then if the opponent cooperates you cooperate back once or (Double) twice regardless of the opponent’s next move, if the opponent defects then you defect back once or (Double) twice regardless of the opponent’s next move. In this way if your opponent continues to cooperate, you do too, if your opponent continues to defect, you do too.

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Jamie,

      About the second paragraph, could you please tell me more?

      • Jamie!? That’s not my name, didn’t you see the bold red? 😛
        And that’s just my first name, this time I’ll use my last name.

        Have you heard of Prisoner’s Dilemma? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma
        I think the winning computer programs are telling of human nature. In societies in which people are primarily empathetic, we’d benefit from always cooperating (win/win), but when apathetic people are in the mix, you’ve got to keep an eye out for them and be on guard, lest you be taken advantage of (win/lose or lose/lose). Also considering how simple the coding was, it’s telling about nature coding for generality more than specialization when it comes to social behavior (“brevity is best”, “when in doubt, leave it out”). Specific behavior is probably more often a developed extension of a more general principle rather than specifically coded in and of itself.

        • Michael says:

          Jamie, I don’t want to speak for Juji, but I don’t believe this is the place for whatever message you’re trying to advertise with your eyesore of a handle. Please use something more reasonable.

      • Pepp_Bri says:

        Juji, there is a very good explanation of the Tit for Tat strategies on “The selfish gene” by Richard Dawkins in the 12th chapter.
        ( http://evolbiol.ru/gene/gene2.html#12 )
        Basically, there are two players, that can choose (repeatedly) to cooperate and gain 300$ OR both defect and gain 10$ OR one cooperate (lose 100) and the other defect (500).
        The most “stable” strategy is Tit For Tat, which means that:
        1) the player will tend to always cooperate if the other cooperate
        2) always defect after that the other player defected
        3) “forgive” the other player after he start to cooperate again
        It can be applied to many field, while it comes from the psychological researches

  3. Lees Dragon says:

    Haha, oh lawd. Just from the name, I knew it was Jamesters up there. XDD

    Here’s a great explanation about tit for tat, Juji. I enjoy Robert Sapolsky’s take on behavioural biology. This man knows his $hit, he teaches at Stanford Uni.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWrrwKU3_uc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsf2zCcWuTE

  4. CountryGym says:

    Juji, please share that picture of you deadlifting in the highest definition possible. I want that to be hanging in my gym opposite to the weightlifting platform. It’s dope!

  5. hans says:

    fucking love this. tough love motivational juji is the best juji <3

  6. STEVE YEAH! says:

    I have a love hate relationship with long hair and short hair. When I have one I want the other :/

    Juj!!! I need your help. My aerial sucks so much ass. Here is a video of me attempting it yesterday. Any advice would rock. Thanks buddy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvpDmhqz0c0

  7. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Juuuuuuuuuuuuj,

    I made a part 2 to my aerial journey. I think i’m getting closer maybe?!?! I’m going to do weekly or bi-weekly updates now unless I actually get the aerial. Just determined!!! Here’s the vid: https://youtu.be/aU847lnEWHM

  8. Jesse says:

    Seriously one of the best articles I’ve read in years

    • Gaurwraith says:

      Steve watch this one, it’s in Spanish but it looks like he shows several good steps leading to aerial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH6167ucLBE

      • Gaurwraith says:

        Basically, starting the cartwheel from an increasing height, touching ground only with one hand

      • STEVE YEAH! says:

        Gaurwraith,

        Whoops I hope that didn’t come off as waiting for a response from Jon (he responded on youtube). I just mean’t that as waiting for his next article. Love readin them!

        Thank you for the advice! Need all I can get. How about I bent down so hard on my aerial on tuesday that it felt like I dug my ribs into my kidney? Needless to say my back/kidney-ish area has been hurting. Took a few days off from my aerial. Starting to feel better. Who the hell does that? I’ll be back at it in a few days.

        • Gaurwraith says:

          No, I know what you mean about the articles, I click everyday too see if there’s a new one, and then I end up reading the comments 🙂
          I suppose I should have replied in youtube too. Good luck with your aerial, it’s encouraging to see persistence (not that I’m near landing one by any means)

          • STEVE YEAH! says:

            Same here, buddy! It’s part of my morning ritual at work. ANY NEW ARTICLES???… nope :'( … NEW COMMENTS THOUGH. YAY!

            Thank you. I’ll get it eventually if it kills me (and my kidneys). Going to stick with one move at a time until I freakin get it. Whats your channel on youtube? I’ll add ya on there!

  9. Dennis says:

    Hey Juji,
    if you could recommend three books, which one would they be and why?

  10. Dennis says:

    Thanks for answering,
    I read a lot of psychology/evolutionary biology or philosophy but your recommendations could be fitness related too. Or don´t you have favorite books that you think everybody should have read once?

  11. Fabs says:

    Damn, hits me right in the hair. As a 20-year old long haired dude teaching English, I’m very VERY prone to job instability.

    Buuut right now, my hair keeps me sane so if I get fired, maybe then I’d cut my hair. Stupid but I’m young! LICENSE TO BE STUPID!

  12. Apeshit_Disciple says:

    TheTruth, I was thinking about you today while doing fast hanging leg raises and jumping to reach things, which hopefully will mean that one day I accidentally do a backtuck when I’m just standing around doing something else.

  13. Steve says:

    Sam! Move out west! I don’t have long hair but am decently unkept and hate shaving AND I’m an engineer (mechanical, medical device) and have never had appearance be and issue. This may be something unique to the SF bay area, California, or the west coast. I’m not sure.

  14. EntMoot says:

    I applied the “cut that shit off” logic to moving out into the middle of nowhere for a better job instead of sitting there with the “i dont want to move away from this town” mentality.

    Other than money, they have all you can eat buffet for lunch and dinner, free gym membership to the most amazing gym i have ever been to. It has martialarts rooms, rockclimbing, bouldering walls and 150pound dumbbells that I will bench press by christmas next year!

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