As I start my journey into the world of the “professional”, my persona has gone through slight changes. The remnants of my retail persona have crept back into my appearance and linguistics, but it isn’t exactly the same. This persona is someone relatively new, but made up of parts of myself that have always been there…somewhere.
I always wear a hat. A combination of bad genetics and cool caps has led to a daily routine of covering the top of my head. It’s never been an issue. And perhaps it wouldn’t be for my internship — as a student reporter for KASU FM — but I will likely never know.
Professionals dress to impress. Sure, my “Birds Aren’t Real” hat could impress some, but it screams amateurism. Fun is allowed in the workplace, but maybe a pink hat with a donut on it isn’t the right way to have fun on the job. So my dress has changed to some degree.
Shorts, a hoodie, and a hat won’t cut it. Instead, jeans, a sweater, and my nicest shoes have been the go-to attire thus far. I’ve even purchased pomade to style what little hair I have left, and I can’t say I’m not impressed with the results. The style carries with it a sense of confidence that casual attire simply can’t.
As for linguistics, I’ve had plenty of practice. There is a certain way I talk with friends (and much of that language is only appropriate in those instances), another voice I use when I record for broadcast, and even another when speaking with fellow professionals.
“Yes sir/ma’am” has always been a staple of my vocabulary. Growing up in the south, it was engrained in me at a young age. The challenges arise when dealing with authoritative speech. When someone above me is explaining something I already know how to do, it’s sometimes hard to just sit there and listen. But I put that bit of pride aside and try to learn something new through the experience.
The same happens when I’m spoken to like an inexperienced rookie — which, technically, I am — instead of a somewhat seasoned reporter. Sure, I have little real world experience compared to those who have done this as a career, but I have been reporting for nearly half a decade at this point. There is still much to learn, but I have grown exponentially over the years. I just have to sit back and realize they haven’t been with me on my journey. I have to prove myself.
This new persona — Chase Gage, KASU — takes those bits and pieces of the sum of my professional experiences and molds them all into a new being of sorts, but one that has always existed within myself. It’s easy to tap in and out of, but perhaps one day it could become the new norm.
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