I've spent most of my life NOT standing out. When I started school and began to socialize more with other kids my age, I quickly learned that standing out or being different was dangerous: my intelligence, kindness, and overall attitude made me a target for repeated bullying. Over time I became withdrawn and went to great lengths to not put myself into a situation where I might be subject to scrutiny. A few times I deliberately kept my course marks on the low end by not working to my potential, because the nerds were always picked on.
When I went into the workforce I hadn't changed much. I was good at what I did, but I was happy to sit in my little corner and do my job while not having to worry about shaking things up or dealing with too many people. I just didn't like to call much attention to myself.
Unfortunately that attitude has come back to bite. I've had only one interview in two years of job-hunting. I'm told that a major reason could be that my résumé doesn't have enough substance to it, although I've retooled it many times according to the ever-shifting guidelines and wracked my brain for the tiniest detail that might be relevant. My online profiles have only a handful of readers despite my best efforts.
There's a poem that states "pretty good isn't good enough", and it isn't. But where to go when even one's best doesn't seem to be good enough?