Dressing for business in the work place

As soon as this topic is mentioned many people think, ‘formal dress,` certainly a jacket at the very least! This was certainly the case 10-15 years ago, happily dress codes have changed and relaxed, however this leaves many in a clothing dilemma surrounding ‘smart/casual’ business wear! Many, though not all, do not understand what this entails and often ask ‘does it really matter?’
My answer to this is, how eager are you to earn more money? Get promoted faster? Find a new job, or simply just get noticed in the office rather than fade into the background. Many hours are spent honing their CV hoping to impress the reader and yet when it comes to the interview, few spend more than a couple of minutes considering what their visual impact should be!
James Caan of Dragon`s Den fame, was taught as a young recruiter that you look from the feet up to decide whether the person he was interviewing was a suitable candidate. Why should your shoes be so important? Well, you can tell a lot by how they are cared for! Dirty, worn, scruffy shoes may indicate a person who is not interested in detail and has no pride in themselves. This may seem harsh but contrast this to a pair of clean, shiny shoes, this is clearly someone has taken the trouble to make sure every last detail is covered off and could indicate at work you are happy to go the extra mile!

Some might dismiss this out of hand as being unimportant; however in this very competitive market place can you afford to leave any small detail to chance? Considering your personal brand is vital to make sure your image is congruent with the company you represent. You would not trust a solicitor wearing jeans and a t-shirt, equally would you wouldn’t want a receptionist greeting your clients chewing gum, wearing bright garish nails and spending all the time on her mobile phone!

If you would like to be ahead of the competition and be remembered for the right reasons, an hour`s image audit could make the difference between success and failure! At the very least, you will become more confident in your outward appearance which will pay dividends, not only in the work place but socially too!
by Jane Sumner

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