I had an interesting discussion recently with a few people as we were talking about stereotypes in a work or business life and how some people either embrace it to help get themselves ahead or detest it as they feel it is a little offensive.
An example of a stereotype that stands out in my mind personally was back when I was working with a large group of people at a store and I happened to be one of the more knowledgeable people when it came to software issues. Now a person came into the store and despite being offered help by some other people he bypassed them and immediately went to me.
I proceeded to help him and he was very happy at the end while complimenting my level of knowledge. He then threw in a comment on how he knew I was the right person to talk to as oppose to the other people as you have to talk to Asian people to get correct answers about these types of things. I didnâ€™t really know what to say and he just re-emphasized his view and how he found that to be true and since he was Caucasian himself it wasnâ€™t a racist remark or anything.
Whether we like it or not, we are always being judged based on stereotypes. Like most things though, you can either be negative about it or turn it into a positive. One person told me that it used to bother him on the fact that he wore glasses and how people would automatically label him as a more technical/numbers oriented individual when in reality he was more of an artist that focused more on the creative side of things and wanted to be known mainly for that.
Since he was being stereotyped though, he used that to his advantage when it came to getting business. He began to market himself a little more as not only a person who could do creative work but as well as someone who understood the business side of an industry as well such as a person who focuses on the bottom line. He mentioned that it actually worked well for him.
I guess in some ways you can consider stereotypes as an additional trait to help yourself stand out from a crowd too as oppose to just looking at it from a negative point of view on how it can only hinder your image. Just have to change your way of thinking I suppose.