March, 07
by RT

Should You Still Dress For The Job You Want?

You hear it all the time; "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". However, does that statement still hold nowadays?

Should You Still Dress For The Job You Want?

Back when I was working in the corporate world, most people who were at my level in the company (and underneath) usually came to work in really easygoing and casual clothing like Jeans and casual jackets. The seniors, however, who typically met with customers on a regular basis and needed to pass on a certain image, dressed in more formal business wear — suits and ties or, for the ladies, skirts or pants with heels.

The thing is, on days when I've dressed the way they do, I've stood out like a sore thumb, particularly since my co-workers have made comments like, "Have you landed an interview somewhere today?"

With time, I realized that, although it might appear to be shallow, the way we dress creates an impression about who we are and where we want to be.

Since people tend to judge us (deliberately or not) anyways, to a certain extent in terms of what we look like, why not look as though you're prepared for a promotion? Dressing well, be that as it may, doesn't really mean wearing a suit and tie every day. Sometimes, unpretentious yet subtle garments can make a great impression, particularly on people like your managers.

Most importantly, pick quality over quantity. In case you carry a briefcase, for instance, it should accomplish more than simply holding your things — it communicates pieces of information about your organisation and your identity, so it's worth putting your things in a decent one.

I personally recommend buying the best-quality shoes you can afford. Attractive, polished shoes say something about the way you manage things that belong to you or that you are in charge of. Furthermore, get rid of your Bic and purchase a quality pen. It doesn't need to be expensive, however it should look elegant.

It may surprise you to know that, when CareerBuilder surveyed 552 senior workers, the study included questions about clothing. Around 66% of the CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and senior VPs in the study said they mostly wear business casual, while 18% consistently wear pants to work. Black was most popular, chosen by 32%, followed by navy (31%), and beige (10%).

Finally, sometimes wearing the right clothes can even improve your self-confidence while wearing casual boring clothes everyday can lower it. That being said, it all depends on your work environment. Wearing a suit while working (or applying to work) in a bootstrapped startup is just not sending the right message to the other team members and won't make you feel good about yourself, while wearing a suit to a business or sales meeting can make you look more appealing to others while increasing your self-esteem.

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