Single Steps Strategies Blog

Dress For The Job That You Want

Because the world has become more casual, business casual, or just plain casual; dressing down has become more the code in the work world. The “uniform” of the office is now more likely to be slacks and t-shirts, than skirts, jackets and high heels.

But the old adage of “you are what your wear” may still have some value in today’s more causal world.

The idea of this was more of what you project to the world; as well as what you think about who you are and what you want from your professional life.

When I was young and things were not quite going my way; when I was upset by circumstances or dealing with a difficult life issue, my mother would remind me that all things were possible, if I just  “got up, got dressed up; and got going.” The action of moving and doing was a means of working
through a problem and heading for a new life experience. But the central part of this theme was that I “got dressed up”. Not just dressed. Even nudists get dressed every so often. A sweater when it is cold. But it was the “dressed up” part. Putting my best foot forward. Feeling good about who I was.
Just like the UPS driver and the McDonald’s employee, I have a “uniform” when I get up every day and go off to my work day life. I believe that what I wear sets the tone for what I expect from myself, what I expect from my business; what I expect from my day.

One of my mentors in my early career said that more people would become who they want to be if they just “dressed for the job they want, and not the job they have.” Work at and look like who you want to be. Or as Shakespeare said, “all the world is a stage and each must play a part.” What is the costume you should be wearing for the part you are playing?

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance tells us “most of us do not think we are carrying on a conversation with the outside world when we get dressed in the morning, but we are.”

She reminds us that Alison Laurie in her book, The Language of Clothes ,says, “ long before I am near enough to talk to you….you convey your sex, age, class to me through what you are wearing.”  “To choose clothes, either in a store or at home, is to define and describe ourselves.”

As we enter the season of Spring, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate our wardrobe, the “uniform” we wear when we go out into the world. What are you saying to the world? What do you really what the world to hear?

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