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6 Ways What You Wear Can Impact Your Success

6 Ways What You Wear Can Impact Your Success

Everyone knows the importance of a first impression. But what’s even more important is making a good first impression in a work or business environment. Your clothes are a big part of that impression, so dressing appropriately is key. If you’re not sure whether your clothing is sending the right message in your workplace, read these six tips on how dressing in certain ways can impact your success. You never know what might happen when you make even the tiniest changes.

1. Successful people don’t wear flip-flops.

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    This should be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to realize how unprofessional flip-flops are. The same goes for athletic shoes. They’re too casual for the workplace, and certainly don’t send a message of confidence. If I walked into an office and saw someone wearing flip-flops, I would likely take my business elsewhere, and many other people feel the same way. Instead, try wearing closed-toe shoes that are at least business casual.

    2. Successful people buy clothes that fit them.

    Dressing for success also means dressing in your correct size. Many people wear clothes that are too big, too small, or too short for them. Make sure your pants fit comfortable at the waist and don’t stop at your ankles. Your tops should fit comfortable without being too tight or revealing. Dressing in clothes that fit well indicates to others that you know what you’re doing.

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    3. Successful people don’t show too much skin.

    This is especially true for younger people who may not be used to wearing work clothes all the time. Showing too much skin, whether it be from a top that’s too low or a skirt that’s too short, is unprofessional. It sends a message to coworkers and potential future employers that you are not yet mature enough to join the workforce and that you may not take your work seriously. This may not be true, but it’s important that your clothing choices reflect your work skills.

    4. Successful people iron their clothes.

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      Showing up to work or to an interview in wrinkled clothing shows a lack of interest in looking sharp for work. It’s a simple, quick thing to iron your clothes in the morning, or iron them the night before and hang them up to avoid creating new wrinkles. This attention to detail will impress others and make them much more likely to respect you as a colleague or employee. If you’re going to an interview, this is a detail that your interviewer will likely pay attention to, and will remember after you’ve left the appointment.

      5. Successful people tone down their makeup.

      If you love wearing tons of makeup, that’s totally your call. However, it might be best to save that for your personal time. When at work, it’s more professional to wear neutral colored makeup, and a minimal amount. This means that your makeup isn’t the thing that people pay attention to, but rather your skills and value to the company. Wearing makeup is fine, but try to keep it to a minimum and toned down as much as possible. Just stick to the basics and you’ll be fine.

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      6. Successful people know when they look good.

      This is more of a point of confidence. Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, and others will notice. Wearing clothes that you like will exude a confidence that others will pick up on. This is impressive, and is something that others will take note of. Once you feel good, other good things will come your way. This is especially important for an interview. If you’re nervous about it, just wear something that makes you feel good, and you’ll be more confident when speaking to your potential future employer.

      Featured photo credit: Clark Kent/Nana B Agyei via flickr.com

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      Maggie Heath

      Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on April 8, 2020

      9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

      9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career

      Congratulations, you’re starting a new job! You’re feeling relieved that the interviews and the wait for a decision from the hiring manager is over, and you’ve finally signed the offer.

      Feelings of fear and anticipation may surface now as you think about starting work on Monday. Or you may feel really confident if you have plenty of work experience.

      Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones. It’s very common for seasoned professionals to overestimate themselves due to the breadth of their experience.

      Companies offer different depths of on-boarding experiences.[1] Ultimately, success in your career depends on you.

      Below are 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career.

      1. Your Work Starts Before Your First Day

      When you prepared for your interview, you likely did some research about the company. Now it’s time to go more in depth.

      • How would your manager like you to prepare for your first day? What are his/her expectations?
      • What other information can your manager provide so that you can start learning more about the role or company?
      • What company policies or reports can you review that can get you acclimatized to your new job and work environment?

      You’ll need to embrace a lot of new people and information when you start your new job. What you learn before your first day at work can help you feel more grounded and prepare your mind to process new information.

      2. Know Your Role and the Organization

      Review the job posting and know your responsibilities. Sometimes, job postings are simplified versions of the job description. Ask your manager or human resources if there is a detailed job description of your role.

      Once you understand your key responsibilities and accountabilities, ask yourself:

      • What questions do you have about the role?
      • What information do you need to do your job effectively?
      • Who do you need to meet and start building relationships with?

      Continue to increase your knowledge and do your research through the company Intranet site, organizational charts, the media, LinkedIn profiles, the industry and who your company competitors are.

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      This is not a one time event. Continue to do this throughout your time with the company. Every team or project you engage with will evolve and change.

      Keep current and be ready to adapt by using your observational skills to be aware of changes to your work environment and people’s behaviour.

      3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work

      Understanding your work culture is key to help you succeed in your career.

      Many of these unwritten rules will not be listed on company policies. This means you’ll need to use all of your senses to observe the environment and the people within it.

      What should you wear? See what your peers and leaders are wearing. Notice everything from their jewelry down to their shoes. Once you have a good idea of the dress code you can then infuse your own style.

      What are your hours of work? What do you notice about start, break and end times? Are your observations different from what you learned at the interview? What questions do you have based on your observations? Asking for clarity will help you make informed decisions and thrive in a new work setting.

      What are the main communication channels?[2] What communication mediums do people use (phone, email, in-person, video)? Does the medium change in different work situations? What is your manager’s communication style and preference? These observations will help you better navigate your work environment and thrive in the workplace.

      4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions

      You got the job, you’re feeling confident and are eager to show how you can contribute. Check the type of language you are using when you’re approaching your work and sharing your experiences.

      I’ve heard many new employees say:

      • “I used to do this at ‘X’ company …”
      • “When I worked at “X” company we implemented this really effective process …”
      • “We did this at my other company … how come you guys are not …”
      • “Why are you doing that … we used to do this …”

      People usually don’t want to hear about your past company. The experiences that you had in the past are different in this new environment.

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      Remember to:

      • Notice your assumptions
      • Focus on your own work
      • Ask questions, and
      • Learn more about the situation before offering suggestions.

      You can then better position yourself as a trusted resource that makes informed decisions tailored to business needs.

      5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification

      Contrary to common belief, asking questions when you’re starting a new job is not a vulnerability.

      Asking relevant questions related to your job and the company:

      • Helps you clarify expectations
      • Shows that you’ve done your research
      • Demonstrates your initiative to learn

      Seeking to clarify and understand your environment and the people within it will help you become more effective at your job.

      6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand

      Starting a new job is the perfect time to set clear expectations with your manager and colleagues. Your actions and behaviors at work tells others about your work style and how you like to operate. So it’s essential to get clear on what feels natural to you at work and ensure that your own values are aligned with your work actions.

      Here are a few questions to reflect on so that you can clearly articulate your intentions and follow through with consistent actions:

      Where do you need to set expectations? Reflect on lessons learned from your previous work experiences. What types of expectations do you need to set so that you can succeed?

      Why are you setting these expectations? You’ll likely need to provide context and justify why you’re setting these boundaries. Are your expectations reasonable? What are the impacts on the business?

      What are your values? If you value work life balance, but you’re answering emails on weekends and during your vacation time, people will continue to expect this from you. What boundaries do you need to set for yourself at work?

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      What do you want to be known for? This question requires some deep reflection. Do you want to be known as a leader who develops and empowers others? Maybe you want to be known for someone who creates an environment of respect where everyone can openly share ideas. Or maybe you want to be someone who challenges people to get outside their comfort zones?

      7. Manage Up, Down, and Across

      Understanding the work styles of those around you is key to a successful career. Particularly how you communicate and interact with your immediate manager.

      Here are a few key questions to consider:

      • How can you make your manager’s job easier?
      • What can you do to anticipate her/his needs?
      • How can you keep them informed (and prepared) so they don’t get caught off-guard?
      • What are your strengths? How can you communicate these to him/her so that they fully understand your capabilities?

      These questions can also apply if you manage a team or if you deal with multiple stakeholders.

      8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company

      It’s important to keep learning from diverse groups and individuals within the company. You’ll get different perspectives about the organization and others may be able to help you succeed in your role.

      What types of relationships do you need to build? Why are you building this relationship?

      Here are some examples of workplace relationships:

      • Immediate Manager. He/she controls your work assignments. The work can shape the success of your career.
      • Mentors. These are people who are knowledgeable about their field and the company. They are willing to share their experiences with you to help you navigate the workplace and even your career.
      • Direct Reports. Your staff can influence how successful you are at meeting your goals.
      • Mentees. They are another resource to help you keep informed about the organization and your opportunity to develop others.

      Other workplace relationships include team members, stakeholders, or strategic partners/sponsors that will advocate for your work.

      Learn more in this article: 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

      9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

      “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama

      You are part of an ecosystem that has gotten you to where you are today. Every single person and each moment that you have encountered with someone has shaped who you are – both positive and negative.

      Here’s How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

      Make sure you continue to nurture the relationships that you value and show gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your goals.

      Summing It Up

      There are many aspects of your career that you are in control of. Observe, listen, and make informed decisions. Career success depends on your actions.

      Remember to not assume that your new work environment will be similar to previous ones.

      Here are the 9 tips for starting a new job and succeeding in your career:

      1. Your Work Starts Before Your 1st Day
      2. Know Your Role and the Organization
      3. Learn the Unwritten Rules at Work
      4. Be Mindful of Your Assumptions
      5. Ask Questions and Seek Clarification
      6. Set Clear Expectations to Develop Your Personal Brand
      7. Manage Up, Down, and Across
      8. Build Relationships Throughout the Company
      9. Keep in Touch With Those in Your Existing Network

      Celebrate, enjoy your new role, and take good care of yourself!

      More Tips About Succeeding in Career

      Featured photo credit: Frank Romero via unsplash.com

      Reference

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