Dress for Success

This past weekend, my husband, John Murphy and I were visiting my niece who is a freshman at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas.  Over lunch at Banditos, we were catching up and learning about college life. 

One of the things my husband found most remarkable about her college experience versus that of University of Washington freshman we know related to dress code.  No, SMU does not have an offical “dress code” or even guidelines for students. 

Rather the dress code of no pajamas or sweats is understood and praciticed by the student body.  My neice explained “People would look at you weird if you didn’t bother to dress or comb your hair for class.  They would see it as disrespectful with the professors teaching in a suit.”

If you are a business owner or manager, you set the tone for your company.  Are you leading by example?

When I first  moved to Seattle to start my business, Sleep Country USA, I found myself moody and depressed.  In a conversation with a friend in Dallas, I lamented that Seattle was a city which was largely counter-culture,  proud to be the home of grunge.  It wore on me.  My friend had a remarkably simple solution.  She told me “Don’t participate.  You have a closet full of professional clothes.  Tomorrow, get up, get dressed and go to work.”

I did.  People noticed.  They commented,  They said I looked nice.  I thanked them and then added that I felt better when I presented myself in a more professional way.  I also noticed people treated me with more respect.  They seemed to take me seriously because I seemed to take myself seriously. 

Little by little, my employees started to dress more professionally.  I attracted other professionals to my circle and we attracted a higher caliber of employee to our team.

All because of the image our appearance projected and the way it changed both our perception and the perception of others.

Could your career or business benefit from a “make over”?  People make a miriad of judgements about us when we meet.  Fair or not, even when they cannot articulate the reasons, they decide if we are professional by the way we look, talk and act.  Are you representing yourself and your business in the best possible way?

Robin Ryan, a world-class career consultant says one of the first things she has to do with many unemployed professionals is get them to update not just their resume and their skills – but they look as well.  Employers feel if you look dated, your skills are dated as well.

If you don’t know how to update to a more current look and still look professional, enlist the aid of a stylist such as Kim Crumpler of  Uniquely Savvy to help you.  Kim works within your own closet to help you put together appropriate outfits to convey confidence for job interviews, client meetings or social events.

There is a lot of documentation which ties our look with our income.  If you want to give your career a boost, upgrade your image so others will give you the chance to show your full potential.

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One Response to “Dress for Success”

  1. Robin Ryan Says:

    Sunny is offering you a big success tip here –if you want to get promoted and care about your career you’ll pay the utmost attention to her message. Robin Ryan

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