Why Should I Care What I Look Like? Part 2
By Renee Weisman
Owner of Winning at Work
Continued from Part 1
A few DO's
Do dress for the occasion. There is a difference between business attire, business casual and casual. Even on dress down days, wear business casual unless you are going to a picnic. Whether you are giving an important presentation, meeting with senior management, representing management, visiting a client, talking to a group, attending a gala, or having a business lunch, you should wear what is appropriate for the event.
Be neat and clean.
Be ready for the surprise visit. A friend of mine was a site manager for a large company and had come to work dressed in business casual clothing. He got a call that his state governor was making a surprise announcement at their site and had to rush home (an hour away) to get a tie and jacket. He barely made it back in time. After that, he always kept a clean shirt, tie and jacket in his office. You may not need to go that far, but if you went to work in sneakers and chinos, keeping a jacket and pair of shoes in your office can be a lifesaver for those unexpected visits from whomever.
Care about the obvious. Look in the mirror, both front and back.
Be comfortable. If you are pulling or adjusting your clothes or stepping out of your heels because your toes are crimped, it distracts, no matter how nice or expensive those the items are.
A few DON'Ts:
- Don't wear the same thing every day unless you are in construction or wear a uniform.
- Don't show any skin that should stay hidden or go braless unless you work for a nightclub.
- Don't pretend it doesn't matter.
- Don't obsess about what you wear or how you look, unless you are a model. Be neat, not perfect.
- And please, no tight, overly sexy, or ripped clothes.
Like it or not, your professional appearance is an important factor in your career. Don't let the wrong image distract people from the talent and unique capabilities you have.