Dressing Well can Actually Make you more successful
There is an old adage that says, “Dress for the position you would like, not the position you have,” and I have learned from experience that you can’t make more money if you don’t dress the part!
From the moment you’re hired – whether you’re working in the mail room or starting in an executive position – it’s important that you’re mindful about how you present yourself to the world. People who dress well are more pleasing to be with. When you look like someone who can handle the job, you’re more likely to be trusted with a promotion, a big project and possibly a raise.
Need some inspiration? Download my FREE resource, “The Top 5 Best Dressed Men & Women”
Looking the Part is the New PrerequisiteHere’s a story for you that I recently heard from a fellow business owner:
|I attended an informative seminar on marketing. The presenter had great credentials on paper, but when he showed up on stage, I couldn’t stop thinking about his appearance! He had a terrible haircut, his clothing was unflattering and baggy, and he was morbidly obese. I’m sure he shared valuable information, but I was so distracted by his appearance that I missed a lot of the presentation.|
Now, is it perhaps “shallow” that this woman was thinking about the presenter’s appearance during his entire seminar? Sure.
But here’s the reality, folks: everyone is constantly looking at everyone else and making observations and evaluations. When you’re on stage, they’re doing it ten times more!
If this man had walked onto the stage with a clean haircut and a crisp suit that fit, it wouldn’t have mattered that he was obese. She might have noticed, but she would have been able to quickly move on and concentrate on the valuable information he was sharing.
Here’s the moral of the story: dressing the part is baseline. If you want people to be able to absorb your message, you must show up looking like someone they believe is knowledgeable and trustworthy, regardless of whether you’re presenting on stage or walking into a meeting.
People who Dress Well Look Flattering and Appropriate
It’s Not About a Million-Dollar Suit
To be clear, I’m not saying that you need to go out and spend oodles of money on the perfect wardrobe. This is really about being conscious of how to put yourself together in a way that looks good, is appropriate for your workspace and flatters your body type.
Not too long ago I spoke at Spoken Impact’s “Speaking of Business” Conference about corporate dress code policies. Businesses have dress code policies for a reason: it helps the employees maintain a level of professionalism in the workspace and reduces distraction. That said, different companies have different dress code policies. You better believe that executives walking around a Google campus in Silicon Valley are dressed differently than executives walking around a high-rise at JP Morgan in Manhattan!
Have you read your company’s dress code policy lately?
Some call it a “halo effect,” in which more-attractive people are perceived as possessing greater intelligence or to have more skills. Without any applied logic to it, a positive impression of a person sticks in people’s mind. Considering how important a creative and attractive website can be for any small business and drives revenue. A visitor’s first impression is paramount. In the same manner, consider that your dress to the office on any day and at any moment could be tweeted, or posted on Facebook. Let the wardrobe you choose speak excellence of you.
Maybe Billionaires and Super-Geniuses Can Dress As They Want
But Dawn, What About Mark Zuckerberg!?
Whenever I speak about the importance of dressing for the position you wish to have, someone inevitably raises his or her hand and says, “Dawn, I like what you’re saying, but I can’t help but think about Mark Zuckerberg’s famous jeans and hoodie uniform. Or what about Steve Jobs and his white tennis shoes and black turtleneck!?”
Here’s the answer: if you’re a billionaire or a super-genius, you have my permission to dress like a slob. Otherwise, you’d better get your butt in gear and dress like a professional!