Clothing and appearance choices have always been a contentious point between generations, here, a CEO who wishes to remain anonymous, but who was sporting a short back and sides, a smooth chin and a lounge suit explains:
- The younger you are the more appearance will contribute to your credibility (or not). The older you get the more licence you obtain in being individual or weird, depending on taste.
- Too much visible skin is one of the most common mistakes young people make. No manager should have to observe in a meeting that you have a belly ring or a tattoo at the small of your back, on your shoulder, or on your chest.
- As a rule, underwear should never be visible and chewing gum never be done at work.
- In summary, dress in ways that conform to the norms of the role you want. Assuming you are effectively holding down the job you are doing, identify what credibility looks like for the job you want and then replicate it in your appearance.
- Hair should not be noticed. Clean hair that doesn’t need constant tucking behind the ears or pushing away from the face is a good thing.
- Too much gel says teenager.
- One/two day stubble is seen as fashionable by some, in many businesses it’s still seen as either evidence of not being able to get out of bed, or just general slovenliness. Beard or no beard, there is no try.
- The fastest way for your argument to lose credibility is to repeatedly use the phrase ‘So, do you, like, know what I mean?’
- When this is combined with the Australian Upward Inflection (making your voice rise at the end of every statement, turning it into a question), the loss of gravitas to your position is devastating.
Note 1: None of the above applies if either what is described above is the norm for your industry or you are not bothered about moving into a more senior role.
Note 2: If you practice these traits and you are over 40, seek professional stylist help.
Next month we will look at appearance issues affecting the older worker in the workplace.
If you have your own views on appearance issues post a comment.