CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 31, 2014
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Dressing for Success at the Workplace

The argument that first impression counts is one of the most overused in many spheres of life, but also one of the most ignored tips when seeking career success. In job-hunting and career growth, a person’s outlook is critical. Note that you are selling a product, but that product is you. The first thing that your potential or existing employer sees is your attire, and it influences how they treat you. Remember that people judge a book by its cover.

Clothes

Your clothes need to be true to your expectations, head to toe. You want to stand out and be noticeable, but not in a very obvious manner. Avoid copying a successful colleague’s style and instead choose colors, length, quality and styles, that suit your body. You have to ensure that your dressing is communicative without crossing decency boundaries. You also have to be sensitive to other people’s preferences. For example, wearing extremely short dresses when working under a conservative boss could cost you his approval for better opportunities. The basic rules are to wash and iron your clothes and to button and tuck your shirt in for males.

Jewelry

Expert stylists warn against anything that can be viewed as too much when it comes to jewelry. Avoid jewelry that is too heavy, flashy or old if you are hoping to advance in your career. Ensure you are conversant with your office culture and safety requirements. For example, most companies will prohibit wearing a long chain when working in a processing factory.

Perfumes and Colognes

Disregarding perfume and cologne etiquette at the workplace can put you at the risk of losing your job. While most people enjoy a subtle fragrance, it can make some people sick. Some workplaces have rules about wearing fragrances. Be sure to ask if you are in doubt. If you work in an enclosed office, the potency of your fragrance will be greater than when you are outdoors. Be considerate of the people you work with and get rid of it should one person complain.

Grooming

Even the most exquisite suit will not cover up for overdone makeup. Dressing for success entails the whole package, so be careful about your grooming style and ensure it fits your professional look. If you are in a position where you interact with clients often, your employer views you as part of the company face. Companies will, therefore, be looking for someone who has a professional look.

Decency

No matter how accommodating the weather is, indecent dressing sends an unprofessional message. Avoid showing too much skin if you want your boss to view you as a serious person. Know the expectations and mentality of the people in your industry. For example, Forbes Magazine reports on research that revealed clients are more likely to notice and reward waitresses who wear bright colors more. The trend may not be the same in the medical field.

Many things can cost you a better job or promotion, but your dressing and grooming are things you can easily improve on. Following the right dressing, grooming and etiquette rules can put you in an advantaged position when it comes to career growth and success at work.

 

Image: iStock

 

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