We’re a fairly casual organization. If you take one look at our Jobkinz Mascots and concrete office floor, you’ll come to that conclusion.
We’re based in Florida, so there are times when we’ll have an impromptu meeting at a local park or meet at Starbucks on the beach for an early morning resume writing strategy session. And, in these moments, casual is appropriate. But, when we’re working at the office we dress smart professional. Think suit jackets, t-shirts, and jeans.
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For us, image matters. While we don’t feel the need to be pressed and dressed, it’s important for you to understand we value you as a client. So, shorts are out. How do you dress at work? Do you value your career and clients?
Does Your Style Of Clothing Support Your Career
Dressing professionally guides the tone for your day and puts you in the correct state of mind. How you dress directly impacts your performance.
As I mentioned previously, the Mentor Happy team is a great example. We value your career and we’re serious about helping you reach your professional goals. Dressing professionally level sets expectations for our clients. You aren’t expecting career advice from a sloppy guy in sweats. And, I’m not expecting to coach someone who’s wearing slippers and giving up on life.
The image you portray will impact how others react to you and how you react to your work.
Image Is Linked To Your Reputation
Dressing like your on vacation at work, won’t help you drive your career forward. When you’re overly casual in appearance and demeanor at the office, you’ll earn a label. And, I can assure you that you won’t like the label you receive.
Right or wrong, how you present yourself speaks volumes to others; even if your actions don’t go hand in hand with your appearance. Visual cues are hard to erase.
When a colleague sees you in flip flops and a torn T-shirt, they immediately make an assumption. They may sincerely think you’re an awesome co-worker, but the image of your dress will be permanently ingrained in their mind. As a result, they’ll choose to formulate an opinion of your capabilities based on your clothing.
Unfortunately, a sloppy image invokes thoughts of laziness, unreliability and a party first mentality. Whereas someone who is pressed and dressed is often labeled as sharp, smart, put together and, oddly enough, well spoken.
Image Impacts Professional Growth
If you work in an office where everyone dresses casually, I’m not advocating that you wear a three-piece suit every day. But, if you want to climb the ladder and be taken seriously, you should dress the part.
Casual and smart casual are two different looks. Always aim for smart casual. Nice shoes, a trendy pressed shirt, a pencil skirt with flats all fall into a smart casual look. Take time to look good and you’ll stand out from your peers.
If you’re wearing cargo shorts and a flannel every day and the guy next to you looks like he fell out of a Kenneth Cole photoshoot, who has the leg up? All things being equal, the Kenneth Cole model wins.
You may question that logic, but start looking around and you’ll see what I mean. Even the person who grabbed that last promotion wearing a flannel and cargos probably still has an awesome hipster look that’s in line with the corporate culture. More plainly put, he doesn’t look like he just rolled out of bed.
Be True To Yourself
While I can assure you polishing your appearance will help you professionally, I also don’t believe you should be someone you aren’t. Life is too short.
If you’re secretly a tattoo loving Harley rider and you are stuck at a stuffy law firm, you’ll hate your job and will find yourself miserably plugging away. Don’t do this to yourself!
Find a company that fits your personality and you’ll be much happier. Regardless of where you choose to work, just remember to step up your style a notch above the recommended dress code. Ride your Harley to work, just look good doing it!