Friday, June 28, 2013

Fit Into the Organization 3: Enhance Your Visual Fit

Dress AppropriatelyThis continues our series on how fitting in helps you get the biggest raises and better jobs

John, the managing partner of a Big 3 accounting firm, complained to the colleagues surrounding the table for lunch. “How do you motivate the new crop of college graduates?” he asked. “For example” he continued “They come to work in shorts and t-shirts if they don’t think they have a client coming that day. Then, they embarrass the firm, when a client appears unexpectedly.”

Dress for Your Current Job

How much respect would a star basketball player receive if he appeared to play the NBA championship game wearing football pads, helmet, and jersey? The logical answer in sports eludes many people about dress at work.

Each company or industry expects certain dress standards. For example, some expect

  • Employees to wear actual uniforms (fast food, retail, service technicians, or others)
  • Informal uniforms such as suits, dress shirts, ties, etc.
  • More casual uniform

Few seek something as causal as shorts and a t-shirt. Your chance for success will increase as you dress appropriately.

Avoid Outlandish Dress

Sometimes, employees like to dress in costumes or such for special occasions. For example,

  • Some companies encourage employees to dress in costumes for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day,  or other holidays
  • Others allow it, but do not encourage it
  • Ask your supervisor what they will wear for special situations
  • Follow management’s lead. Dress similar to them
  • You do not want to dress inappropriately even on Halloween

Dress for Your Future Job

Do you visually fit in to the promotion you want? You can begin now to dress for future jobs:

  • Observe how the people working in the positions you want dress each day
  • Focus on just one or two levels up at this point
  • Examine how you dress
  • Identify the differences and begin dressing more like them
  • CAUTION: don’t start wearing suits if you work on the production line

Monday we highlight how your formal and informal conversations define how you fit in

This blog will improve as you submit comments, questions, and experiences. We will answer your questions in future blog posts. Please submit your comments and questions so we can answer them.

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