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Ask a career coach

How to Dress at Work
Tips from a career coach

We've all heard it before, "dress for the job you want not on the one you have."  I agree with this statement, if you want to be a vice president or manager, you want to look professional.  Of course, these standards are different by company and industry, but they all follow the same logic.  Perception equals reality for those evaluating you for, so let's put your best foot forward.


Here are my career coach tips for how to dress to impress:


1. Wear what you feel confident in.  Take more time at night or in the evening to wear an outfit that makes you feel like you're on top of the world.  How you feel about your appearance directly impacts your confidence.  When picking an outfit, ask yourself how confident do I feel? Ditch anything ill-fitting or that makes you self conscious.


2. Study your work environment.  How does management dress? Yes, you might have a casual dress code but how casual do they go? Perception matters. If you dress the part, people take you more seriously.


3. Rule of thumb.  The closer you work with a client, the more dressed up and professional you should look.


4. Avoid going into the office with wet hair.  It can give the appearance that you're rushed or can't manage your time.


5. Unless you're pregnant or have foot issues, avoid flip flops.


6. Err on the side of caution.  If you think it might be too risky or too casual, it probably is.

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