Skip to main content
SFU Health and Counselling Services
Registered Clinical Counsellor

A man working on his laptop
There are some people in the world that you look at and just think, “wow, that guy was just meant to have a moustache.” Well, I’m not exactly one of those guys.

Heard of Movember?

It’s a fundraising movement for prostate cancer research in which men (mo bros) and women (mo sistas) alike dedicate the month of November to growing a moustache. In other words, it’s pretty much the best thing ever. Over the last couple of years, Movember’s popularity has skyrocketed to the point where it’s no longer surprising to see more moustaches than clean-shaves during November. I would even hazard to say that this year’s Movember might be the biggest yet in Canada, given the death of politician Jack Layton, who always sported a great looking stache.

Those who know me well know that I quite enjoy growing the odd moustache, much to my fiancee’s discontent (she’s a good sport though). During my undergraduate days, especially during the summer months while I was out fighting forest fires in the bush, I didn’t really care if I looked a bit ridiculous for a few weeks. There was nothing lost and some good fun gained.

In the last few years, however, I have been hesitant to take the stache plunge. My rationalizations were understandable, I think. I was just starting my professional career, and was insecure enough about my ability to help people effectively without having to wonder if they could look past some strategically grown facial hair to take me seriously. There are some people in the world that you look at and just think, “wow, that guy was just meant to have a moustache.” Well, I’m not exactly one of those guys. The Dave-moustache tends to look out of place, and a little bit creepy.

But I’m writing this post today to commit to growing a Movember moustache this year. I am also making a commitment to actually do some fundraising for the campaign, something that I haven’t really done before.

So what’s changed? Why do I feel like I can safely sport a stache this year if I couldn’t in the last 2?

It comes down to professionalism. I think I had different ideas about what professionalism actually means last year and the year before, during the infancy of my professional career. Because I didn’t really feel like a professional, I was very sensitive to any sort of feedback that might confirm my suspicion that I was actually an impostor, a fraud, that it was somehow luck that I had gotten to the place I was, and sooner or later people would realize that I didn’t belong. If this sounds familiar, don’t be surprised – it’s a well-documented phenomenon known as the impostor syndrome.

What I’ve come to realize recently, as I’ve become far more comfortable and confident in my professional career, is that true professionalism starts on the inside. Yes, yes, I realize that sounds like a rhyme we’ve heard before. True beauty is on the inside, love yourself before you can love others, and all that. But trust me, this one’s for real. If you’re a recent graduate just getting started in the professional world, or a student about to graduate, you can probably identify with some of the feelings of insecurity I described above. The good news is that it goes away, even if it takes a few years.

Because I’m confident in my own professional identity, I don’t mind if students look at me a bit strangely when they meet me for the first time. That moment will pass, and we can get down to work. In the meantime, I’ll be doing something good for prostate cancer research.

You can see (and donate to!) my “Mo Bro” profile for Movember, complete with a moustached picture of yours truly, here:


SFU Health and Counselling Services
Registered Clinical Counsellor
David Lindskoog is a Registered Clinical Counsellor at Health & Counselling who used to work as a Career Advisor with Career Services. David is passionate about suicide prevention, social justice, career and professional development concerns, and the use of role-playing games in therapy. Check out his group: Dungeons & Worry Dragons. While you're here, check out Dave's Diary! It is an ongoing series of journal entries touching on various aspects related to careers and well-being. Want to hear Dave's thoughts on a particular topic?  Send him an email, and he'll do his best to include it in his next post!  
visibility  162
Sep 16, 2011

You Might Like These... Prospective, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Co-op students jumping in the air
The Co-op Connection Helps Retention

In this blog post, Heather shares with us why co-op is an important experience for all students, whether it be to further career aspirations or to gain future employment opportunities. 

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

Hands holding a volunteer badge
Sana Siddiqui: Volunteerism Opens up Endless Possibilities | Part Two

She has been involved with SFU LEAD, Peer Programs and the SFU Muslim Students’ Association, just to name a few. Now, Sana Siddiqui, a Criminology student, reflects back and shares with us the invaluable academic, personal and professional skills and opportunities volunteering opened for her, read on to find out what she has to say about getting involved on campus and in the community.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

 Man in Orange Crew-neck Shirt Using Laptop Beside Two People
Anudeep's Life Changing Co-op Experience

Thinking about doing a Co-op semester? Anudeep explains why this is an important experience for all students and tells us what his experience at the SFU Power Lab was like.  

Image of the Author during the Internship
Six Reasons Why We Like Research

The department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK) will be hosting its 8th Annual Research Day on Friday, March 31. Twelve BPK undergraduate students were asked a simple question: What do you like about research? After compiling all of their responses, I present to you six reasons why we like research!

Many people at a celebration
A Celebration with 1,000 BC Tech Stars

In my work term with BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA), I had the opportunity to help plan and organize the company’s biggest event of the year, and it just so happened to be BC’s biggest and longest running technology awards celebration.