I had a phone conversation lately with a prospective client who recently changed both positions and companies. After I congratulated him on the move he revealed the only down side. He could no longer work while sporting pajamas albeit a stylish pair yet sleep gear nonetheless.
Needless to say, he dusted off his biz-cazh wardrobe and claimed his cubicle. Keeping his eye on a coveted corner office he saw this as a window of opportunity. A promotion into management is in his short range sights and he recognizes the importance of how he literally shows up for work.
Navigating the appropriate business casual execution for your office’s corporate brand can be challenging particularly if there is no established documented dress code (written for those who are clueless about what is appropriate). More frustrating, are those dress codes with nebulous guidelines which has some pushing the envelope with their own interpretation and others defaulting to what is at least acceptable. Unfortunately this can cultivate a slacker look rendering your overall presentation more casual and less business, which is no doubt comfortable but what does it say?
The natural herd mentality mixed with peer pressure can have the most confident corporate climber dressing not to impress but instead to fit in. The more the workplace occurs as a close community of colleagues, the more daunting it may be to dress for success without alienating and even looking like a suck up.
If the ultimate goal here is career advancement within the company, don’t be afraid to show some clever and creative chops and dress to impress those from whom you wish to seek attention and recognition. Raise the bar and strut your stuff by that corner office and one of two things will undoubtedly happen. At the very least, you will get noticed by both your peers and those up the line. At the most the guy in the corner office will see you as a leader and innovator and your peers may see it as a challenge for them to engage in the same pursuit, so game on!
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