This might be my most superficial post so far. The outside is not as important as the inside, but that does not mean that the outside should be forgotten.
“Clean shirt, new shoes
And I dont know where I am goin to.
Silk suit, black tie,
I dont need a reason why.
They come runnin just as fast as they can
Coz every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man.” – ZZ Top.
I am currently working on a in debt article about my 12 easy steps to become a great employee, today I write more about step 3 of 12: Look good.
Looking good might not be necessary in all kinds of work, but if you work at an office or in contact with customers it is suddenly a bit more important to show your best side. No matter how great the inside is, the first impression might have direct impact on a sale. You might have all the right values, and you might never judge a book by its cover. That is a good value, but we all live in the same world, and a lot of people are not aware about these values, and will be more positive conscious or unconsciously about someone well dressed.
How would you like your employees to dress and behave? You need to set the standards. If you are an employee you might want to consider what your manager would think about your style. I work at a call centre, you do not see the customers, and the other way around, meaning, in theory that your looks could be of radio quality. You can smell, and dress like a bum. Nevertheless some customers do visit our locations, and they are in need of our help. I then consider who I will delegate the customer to; I try to pick someone without an offending t-shirt or appearance. An old lady might not be fine getting help from a pierced and tattooed black metal young man with a “Slayer” t-shirt. So if you at work don’t dress properly, you might give your boss a small challenge. And (s)he might choose some of your co-workers for tasks that involve meeting clients or even other leaders of the company, leaving you out of the cold from those people that can influence your career.
Well this is who I am you might say? Having a personal style is great, but if it does not match with your job, you need to do one of two, change your job, or tone down you personal expressions. Leave your statements for your spare time. You might love to pierce your face full of metal. But if you scare of customers the result is that you end up with a result that is not as great as it could be. If you want to succeed at something all factors should be considered. I love chocolate, but if I want to lose weight, I need to cut it out of my diet.
Don’t know how to dress?
Look at the majority of you co-workers. A nice shirt is almost always safe. Try to avoid sweaters with a statement. People that disagree might end up offended or getting a wrong impression of you or your company. As long as you are at work, the customer will add these feelings when thinking about your company. Use clean clothes and shoes. You might still have a personal style, just do try to avoid images, patterns or text that might offend other people.