Why choosing a Halloween costume is just like choosing a career

by Oct 30, 2020

The spooky season is upon us, and with it the tricky decision of what to wear! Halloween has its fair share of blunders (knock-off costumes are no joke!), but it’s also a time to reflect on the year so far and tackle fear head-on.

Whether you’re going full Mean Girls (“I’m a mouse…DUH!”) or sticking with the classic fake blood and gore option, there are a couple careers lessons you can learn from your favourite pumpkin-filled holiday costumes.

Homemade or store bought?

Making the choice between homemade or store-bought Halloween costumes is the biggest gamble you can take this time of the year.

Going handmade is probably the thriftier option, but it does has the higher chance of being misunderstood – cue you spending your whole night trying to convince people you’re the dancing salsa girl emoji 💃, not just wearing a red dress. Meanwhile, store-bought costumes are kind of the easy way out, not leaving much room for creativity or individuality, but they save heaps of planning time and the stress that comes with it.

The same can be said for choosing your career! Do you opt for a role with a clear hierarchy and well-defined duties in an existing organisation? Or do you take the leap and try your hand at the self-made entrepreneurial route? There are pros and cons for both options, so make sure you know what you’re in for when choosing what kind of career you’re aiming for.

Adventurous or playing it safe?

The adventurous Halloween costume can be hit and miss: sure the full-body, life-sized Iron Man suit might look cool, but chances are you’ll be pretty sweaty by the end of the night. With punny costumes flying over other people’s heads and couple costumes only working if you cling to your partner all night, it’s reasonable that you might decide to play it safe with your outfit this year.

So do you choose an adventurous career or aim for something a little safer? If you’re the type of person who can’t settle down and likes to always be busy, perhaps go for adventurous. Or if you prefer keeping work at work and enjoying hobbies in the downtime, the safe option might be the obvious choice.

It’s not like one is better than the other, but it’s important that you pick whatever’s right for you.

Sticking with what you had? Changing costumes all night?

Changing costumes mid-Halloween is a bit of a power move (looking at you Lady Gaga at the 2019 Met Gala) but it might not be for you this Halloween.

If you’re the type of party guest who can’t possibly choose just one costume to outdo all others, you might be toting a duffel bag full of options to get you through the evening. Or maybe you’re the type of person who has been planning your outfit for weeks and there’s no way you’re changing until well into the wee hours of the morning. Perhaps you’ve picked a costume that hasn’t quite worked out, there’s always the option to change!

Keep this in mind when choosing a career. Just like picking out a costume, if you’ve got one that you’re happy and satisfied with and don’t feel like changing, stick it out! Equally if you’re the type of person who loves change, why not pick a career that’s full of different opportunities and experiences? And hey, careers don’t always work out. When that happens, just like a wardrobe malfunction, be ready to pivot and rework as you need!

Indulge in the spook?

If there’s anything Halloween’s known for, it’s delivering on the scary factor. So herein lies the question: do you go all out with fake blood pills and realistic wound makeup to ensure all your friends think you really are a member of the undead? Or pack it up and just enjoy the free lollies?

We saved this one for last because it’s the trickiest of the list. It can be really hard to force yourself to do things that scare you in your career, but it certainly pays dividends! The idea of speaking at a conference or taking charge of a project might send a shiver up your spine, but tackling these fears head-on could lead you to something pretty great. Think about how fun Halloween was as a kid, or the relief that comes after watching a scary movie; by overcoming things that frighten you, you build resilience and arm yourself with tools that will make you an asset in your current and future careers.


This spooky season, pick the costume that you’re most excited and comfortable with, it might just prepare you for the future of work.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Lily Cameron

Lily Cameron

Communications Assistant

Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.