“Dress for the Job You Want”

I’ve heard the saying “Dress for the Job You Want” so many times that it’s one of those things that you believe at the back of your mind is true… like “time is gold” or “shoot for the moon”.

Net, I’m not aiming to disprove this concept.  I’m just referencing this to illustrate that HOW a message is conveyed has a huge impact on people’s acceptance of an idea.

Everything started when HR brought everyone together for a powow.  Even now, I still don’t know if there is more to the meeting than just reminders that could have just been sent via e-mail… But one of the key messages during the session was “Dressing for the Job You Want” and this ended up bothering me somehow.  Not because there’s anything wrong with this concept, but because of the supporting statements made by HR and some LT members to justify this which are:

1.  The VPs in the company are spending their time worrying about what people wear.  After going on and on about how he’s talked to many people in higher management and thus wanted to share what’s important to these people for our learning, HR shared that #1 priority is to meet commitment (agree) and #2 is that people should dress well (it must be important coz it’s the 2nd priority… I would think though that after talking to all those high management people, he’d know not to setup a meeting without sending an agenda…oh well…).  Apparently, it’s a “pet peeve” for many high management people when their subordinates dress sloppily.  This made me worry about the future of the company because at the rate that we are paying these VPs, their time is actually spent worrying about what people wear.  That’s a shameful waste of company resources.

2.  Some people’s style of dressing is comparable to BPOs or call centers agents.  Someone mentioned that other VPs compared their people’s fashion style to the folks working in the BPO industry.  When I asked what’s wrong with the BPO (aside from the appalling tendency to blow smoke at my face whenever I pass by..), the answer was “Well, we don’t work for the BPO industry, right?”.  The sheer arrogance that made certain people believe that we are better than others just because we work in a certain company or industry is amazing…  Pride goes before a fall…. 

3.  You accept and adjust to the fact that most people are shallow and will only take you seriously when you dress well…  There is also a statement made that dressing well means that you’ve overcome the first barrier of establishing credibility so that you can focus on just delivering.  That does make sense but what’s sad is that instead of leading the way to a new century of seeing beyond a person’s outward appearance, we pander to that shallow ideology of jumping to conclusion that a person has no substance unless he or she looks good.

Honestly, it would have been a fairly simple discussion had egos not come into play,  The above concept is actually fairly simple and there was no need to bring in the VPs and the call center industry and whatnot.  

Dressing for the Job You Want is all about professionalism.  Coming to work in your pajamas or gym clothes is not acceptable because you are not going to bed or working out.  Putting thought into what you wear is part of the preparation process for work.  You prepare for things that matter.  When you show people that you care enough to prepare for your work, people will then also care about it.  That’s it.  Image



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