Career

The way you look can be the first step in a brilliant career

Putting your best foot forward
I can think of very few occasions in life where you can safely say that it doesn’t really matter what you wear or how you wear it. Weeding and digging the garden, cleaning out the garage, house work, painting etc, are occasions where you could argue that image and presentation are not that important. However, I personally feel that we go about these tasks with much more energy if even the basic rudiments of grooming have been carried out e.g. clean teeth, pleasant face, brushed hair, and showered body. In other areas of your daily life you need to be aware of the impact you make when you get up and get dressed.

You can either make or break your image with poor presentation, inattention to detail and a lack of knowledge about the basic dressing standards required for your occupation, what ever it may be, working with children, driver a digger or working in an office, there is a dress code.

In any work environment there are some definite rules regarding dress code and personal grooming. Here is a list of image breakers.

Wearing:

  • a white blouse over a black bra
  • a string vest under a see-through shirt
  • sports socks or white socks with business clothing
  • t-shirts and sweatshirts with slogans
  • laddered or snagged pantyhose
  • sneakers or running shoes with business apparel
  • transparent fabrics in the office
  • wearing anything that looks like evening wear during the day i.e. fabrics, jewellery, plunging neck-lines

Showing:

  • a visible bra or panty-line
  • visible bare legs above socks
  • trousers heavily creased at the crutch
  • rows of pens or pencils in the top pocket

Dress Style and Professional Dressing
Many of us don’t know how to dress well – it is not a genetic gift for most of us. There are rules that can be taught but few of these are included in any school curriculum. Most of us would agree that what you wear to work does matter. You should dress to make the most of your body type and coloring by wearing the styles and colours that best suit you. Your level of dress should fit in with the culture of the organization you are working for, the kind of image you need to project, and suit the type of work you actually do.

Clothes Maintenance

  • Be immaculate with your clothing
  • Wear well-pressed, clean, stain-free, lint-free garments
  • Have clean, polished shoes in the correct colour for the clothes you are wearing. Check shoes are in good repair, the heels have not been worn down, scuff marks are polished out, and the leather is still smooth
  • Be aware that frayed collars and cuffs, buttons missing, seams gaping or unstitched, obvious repairs such as darning or patching will damage your image.

Personal Habits and Grooming
Good grooming starts with caring about being clean. Showering or bathing every day is a basic fundamental to personal hygiene. Body odour is as offensive as is too much perfume or after-shave. Use a deodorant or a foot spray if you have problem feet.

Hair:
Clean, shiny hair, cut in a modern, becoming style is one of the most important grooming tips. Do not go over board with the hair products. Check shoulders for dandruff, dust, and loose hair. Keep a clothes brush at work or in your brief-case.
For women:  Make sure the cut and the colour suit and enhance your natural complexion and face shape. Use a good hair stylist. If you have long hair tie it back or up, for promoting a professional image.
For men:  Regular trims will keep your hair neat and styled. If you have a bald patch, keep your hair short. Avoid trying to comb long hair over the patch to conceal it. It has totally the opposite effect and will look extremely peculiar on a windy day.

Face:
For men: If you shave then do so every day that you are going to work. Hair in your nose or your ears is a turn-off. Check what your eyebrows are doing. All these areas can be trimmed by your barber. A clean-shaven look is most widely acceptable in a business situation. Moustaches and beards can add years to your face and image.

For women: A good skin-care regime is the most basic essential to a great complexion. Lightly applied make-up will give polish to your professional image.

Teeth:
A great smile is the basic number one for business success. Clean teeth in good condition are a vital aspect of your appearance. Regular dentist visits, and good oral hygiene will help eliminate any breath odour. Use a breath freshener after eating.

Hands and Nails:
These should be clean, not too long, and well shaped. Hand-creams are unisex and do a lot to eliminate rough, chapped skin.

And finally:

  • Allow your clothing to inspire you and move you to greatness. Clothing is energy; it has a real impact on your system.
  • Smile (sincerely!), You will look more confident, more successful, and more attractive.
  • Feel good; it’s contagious. People get your “vibes”.
  • Expect the best. You often get what you expect.
  • Be genuine. People know when you’re not.

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