Can Your Attire Hurt Your Career?

Diana Pemberton-Sikes, an image consultant, says that, “dressing for success isn’t about having the ‘right’ suit, the ‘right’ watch, or the ‘right’ haircut; it’s about dressing to successfully RELATE to people with whom you want to do business.”

Here is an excerpt from one of her articles:

“The truth is, I’ve seen more careers either stall or derail over the issue of professional attire than I care to recall. Most violators fall into three categories. They feel that:

“1. They don’t have enough time or money to dress nicely.

“2. Appearance is superficial and unimportant.

“3. The rules don’t apply to them.

“If you see shades of yourself in any of these descriptions, you’re probably not making as much money as you could. Here are some classic signs that your lack of professional attire may be hurting your career:

“1. A superior has flat out told you that you need to wear more professional attire to be considered for another position.

“2. Someone in your office always feels compelled to remind you to “dress nicely” for special events like meetings, presentations, or other functions.

“3. A co-worker with equal or lesser skills but nicer wardrobe was promoted over you.

“4. On those odd days that you do take a little extra time with your professional attire, your co-workers want to know if you’re going for an interview.

“5. You keep asking to be considered for a more visible role in your company, but all you get is management “runaround.”

“Any of this sound familiar? If so, your lack of professional attire is having a negative impact on your bottom line. Whether you like it or not, whether you want to hear it or not, you’re going to have to make some wardrobe changes in order to move ahead.

“You don’t have to do a lot. A little change can make a big difference. Look at your budget for ways to make it happen. Brown bag it more often. Skip a few movies. Drive by the drive thrus. Yes, it’s THAT important. A short-term reallocation of funds will go a long way, as you’ll soon discover. Once you become adept at mirroring your prospects’ and superiors’ appearances, you’ll be astounded at the doors it will open.”

To read the entire article, Click Here.

In the Spirit of Success,

Amanda Johns Vaden
Corporate Partner and Program Director
ajohns@southwesternconsulting.com

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