This blog was written by my daughter Nicole, a sophomore at the University of Texas majoring in Advertising. She wants to work in the fashion industry and since I can remember, she has been my go-to fashion critique whenever I am getting ready for a big speech or event. Whenever you see Nicole, you know she always has style and takes care of her appearance. A lot of kids these days don't understand the importance of proper dress. There is a lack of formality in the way people dress. You can say things have changed, but the people making hiring decisions still view dress as being important. She wrote about the importance of dressing for the job you want.
My dad always talks about the little things that make a difference. How doing the correct thing won't get you in trouble, but putting in the little extra effort and going above and beyond will get you far and separate you from the rest. With all significance my dad puts on dieting and health, I think a little attention to appearance is important.
The concept of dressing to impress seems to get lost after the interview process. However, if you understand how small the business world is, you understand that everyone you meet is important. If you stepped foot on the University of Texas campus, you would notice the incredible culture of every student wearing workout clothes to class. Even after being in Austin for almost two years, I can’t say I understand it. I have incorporated country music into my playlists, accepted that Texans think they are their own country, and even found a place for cowboy boots in my closet.
While I know if I were to bump into any of my peers on campus while wearing sweat pants they probably wouldn’t think anything of it, I like the idea that they know me as always looking put together. If I need to suddenly talk to my teacher after class, the last thing I would want is for them to think I just rolled out of bed at one in the afternoon. I can’t tell you how many people comment on how put together I look all the time. Just by putting in an extra ten minutes in the morning, I have given myself a leg up by separating myself from everybody else. Going to a school of 50,000 students means 50,000 possible networking opportunities. The idea is that I look like I take my work and myself seriously.
As I have gotten older, I have realized my lack of sleep, how early I woke up that morning, and how extreme the weather is outside immediately becomes irrelevant when I walk into the room. As someone who takes great interest in the fashion industry, I understand I have a small bias on the issue. However, regardless of your goals in life, as first impressions are important, the first thing you notice when you meet someone is their appearance. While I’m not saying looking like the editor in chief for Vogue is a necessity, I am saying that it is hard to take someone seriously, when they clearly do not take their job or authority seriously.
As my dad talks about “Next Level Networking” in his blogs, I think not only is it “Who do I know where? If I needed a meeting somewhere, or something from some company, who would I contact?” or “If my contact at a company left that company, who would I still know there? Would I still be able to work with that company?” but what is their perception of you? Were you the person in jeans and a t-shirt, or the one in a suit or dress?
Who knows who you are going to run into? Who knows if people are paying attention? What kind of message do you want to portray about yourself?