If you’re working your way up the business ladder, there’s a solid chance someone’s dispensed with the following adage: “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”. At face value, it’s pretty good advice. You should be aspirational in your job, if you hope to upgrade, and that certainly applies to the way you present yourself.
But the adage, if taken literally, is incomplete. A lot of people take it to mean that you should simply dress better that, by virtue of wearing a nicer suit, ironing your shirt and polishing your shoes, you’ll project ambition and class. The adage, however, is more of a philosophy than a literal directive. In everything you do, you need to project ambition and class.
It’s not just about clothing. Every facet of your personal brand and appearance needs to “dress for the job it wants”, including your workspace, vehicle, social media presence and – yes – even your approach to work.
A slovenly workspace communicates as much about your ambition. It tells people that the job you have is chaotic enough, and casts doubt on your ability to take on a more serious role. To correct this, start by cleaning things up. Keep your papers, your stationary and your personal effects neat and in order. If necessary, cut back on the amount of things you have on your desk.
Next, add personal flair and class to your workspace with a few curated items. These could be plants, art, or belongings indicative of a valuable personal hobby. Perhaps you’re into reading, in which case it’s more than okay to keep a small shelf of books by your desk.
Rolling up in an old beater sends a mixed message. It shows that you have no interest in investing in your personal brand, which the decision makers at work can easily construe as a lack of care. Do yourself a favor and find a luxury car that suits your personal brand.
This doesn’t need to be complicated or, more importantly, prohibitively expensive. Rather than buy a luxury car, which can put you out of pocket quite a bit, just lease the vehicle. Speak to commercial car lease experts in your area that specialize in luxury vehicles, and give them a budget – they’ll be more than happy to accommodate you, with a luxury vehicle at a low monthly cost.
Your Social Media Presence
Social media is the real 21st Century “suit”. It speaks volumes about your sensibilities, conduct and values. Make no mistake: the decision makers at your work are aware of your social media presence. To that end, conduct yourself as you would at work; don’t post party photos, crude content and – most importantly – content critical of your work.
Project, through your pictures, words and links, the kind of person you want to be. Share content that shows your intellect, ambition and workplace satisfaction. People will take note.
Dressing for the job you want doesn’t begin and end in your wardrobe. It involves working, driving and posting for the job you want as well.