Getting ahead in the workplace comes down to many different factors. Your skills and values you bring to the job are of the upmost importance. If you can’t deliver in your job it doesn’t matter how nice you are as the company won’t want to keep you on their payroll. There are, however, other things you can do to help maintain a professional image and make you stand out in your work environment.
How you dress and how you look says a lot about the person you are. If you come to work with a shirt hanging out and dirty shoes, you present an unprofessional image of not caring. No Looking smart will create a positive image about the way you work.
One of my colleagues shed light on this point when he compared two employees under him that were competing for a promotion. One of them dressed every day in a nicely pressed suit with a tie and perfectly polished shoes. The other wore the same worn suit and same tie nearly every day. Furthermore, his shoes were not polished and his hair was in a mess. Both of them had equal skills and their work was first-rate. When my colleague needed to promote one of these men he went with the man who looked the more professional. As he told me, “Who I promoted was a reflection on me. At the end of the day, it was a pretty easy decision.”
First impressions count and in the work environment it is important that we portray the right impression every single day. Understanding your working environment is the key, and this should drive you in the right direction.
If you work in a professional organisation such as a law firm, for example, and you have large tattoos on your arms, rolling up your sleeves at work is probably not the best idea. Keeping your tattoos covered while at work would probably be advised. The same goes for piercings. The opposite is also true – if you work in a more creative environment, then showing off your tattoos at work would be acceptable and wearing a suit would be deemed inappropriate!
The key to dressing professionally is understanding your working culture. Dressing for success will make you feel like a winner, but will also send the right image to those around you about your professionalism and attitude