One of the most important pieces of advice that a career coach hands out is to dress for success. Wearing jeans or shorts with a sloppy T-Shirt or sweatshirt does not make people think you are good management material. On the other side over-dressing will not get you into management either. It is important to find a solid combination in the middle, but still being appropriate for the work that you do.
For office workers, dressing too casual is definitely a show stopper when it comes to career advancement. Wearing some nice looking Dockers combined with a Polo Shirt however should be just fine for most environments unless a more formal looking attire is required. As an example, banks still require their employees to wear suit and tie in many cases (if you are male) and proper business attire for women as well (business skirt, blouse, etc.). If you want to be a manager, check out what the successful managers of the company wear. Keep in mind that executives are often dressed one level above of what is required and so if you are aiming at a middle management position, dress like the other managers in middle management accordingly. Your goal is dressing appropriately to underscore your professionalism and competence.
If you have to work with external customers it is important to look professional to get their business. Consultants have known this for a long time and you will barely find any consultant who is not dressed for success.
Employees who have to work in a uniform of some sort for work, might think they are covered, but even in the world of uniforms important things need to kept in mind. In any profession looking clean and tidy (unless you are a construction worker or work in a similar industry) is an important part of work life. Employees who have to wear uniforms can separate them self from others by making sure that their uniform is always looking clean accordingly.
When job hunting dressing up for success is even more important as the interviewer will definitely judge you by your initial looks. Keep in mind that there is only one chance for a first impression and if you miss this opportunity to impress and to show professionalism than your chances of landing that new job will definitely shrink. No matter how smart or how skilled you are, overcoming the first hurdle is difficult – by the time you really start selling yourself it might be too late.
When starting a new job it is important to be dressed appropriately for at least the first 2-3 weeks. During that time you will meet so many people that it is critical for every first impression to be a good one. It is easier to slowly dress down one level after a while than doing it the opposite way.
Conclusion: A good rule of thumb is to dress conservatively no matter where you work. However, conservatively in a financial institution means something different than dressing conservatively for an Internet startup. This is very important to know for younger workers who are coming out of college these days. Making a mistake in regards to the dress code can make it difficult to advance at your current employer.
This article was written by Chris Puetz who runs the Colorado Career Network website. There you can find job related information and career advice that helps you to get a job or to advance in your existing job. A large section of the website is dedicated to CNA training as well.
- Do’s and Don’ts Of A Job Interview – Tips To Get Hired (AuthorityArticles.com)
- The New 360 Employee Survey (iamsellingtoday.com)