Thumbnail image for win-at-work.jpgHave you found yourself getting passed up for promotions, interesting assignments or job opportunities – even though you know you have the perfect qualifications for them?  You may want to look at your clothing choices.

It may seem irrelevant or even unfair to you, but what we wear plays a big role in how people perceive us.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your wardrobe for work:

1.  “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” The old saying holds true.  People like to be associated with successful people. Yes, your coworkers might tease you a bit for always wearing a tie or jacket, but everyone still gets the message that you take your job seriously.  Short of wearing a tuxedo or evening gown to work, It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

2.  That heavy metal thing in your closet with the point on the end is called an iron.  Use it.  When you show up for work looking like you’ve slept in your clothes, you send the message that you don’t really care much about your job or the people you work with.

3.  Dress for the task at hand.  Don’t show up on the construction site with 2″ heels, and don’t wear your favourite pair of old loafers to a business meeting.

4.  You don’t have to buy expensive clothes, but you do need to wear clothes that fit you well and are in style. 

5.  Causal does not mean sloppy.  Causal dress is okay if you are in an environment where that is the norm, but you still always want to look like a professional.

There’s a great quote from Mark Twain:  “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”  Take care with what you wear.  Not only will you create a positive image for others, but it will also help you have a positive self-image.

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