Your Looks and the Work World

One of the reasons why college is so great is because it really doesn’t matter how you look while you are there. There might be a time when you oversleep and realize you have three minutes to get to your next class. You throw your hair up, keep your sweats on, and dash to class. After all, the important thing is being there, not how you look.

Once you start working, this behavior is unacceptable. Your looks do matter. It’s not fair. It’s not right. Welcome to the real world.

Dress Professionally

Dress codes in the work world have changed dramatically in the last twenty years. Gone are the necessary power suits for a lot of industries and in is the confusing business casual or worse, almost no dress code at all. There are companies out there whose only dress code is “no torn clothing.” This is created by an HR department who is trying to promote the company as a “cool” place to work.

It might be tempting to start the first day at work dressed any which way you please. Don’t be that person. Give it a minimum of two weeks to dress a little more professionally than your coworkers. What does this look like in a casual environment? Nice dress shoes, dark denim, a crisp blouse, and a suit jacket over it. The message you are portraying is “I respect that you chose me from all the other candidates and I am thankful for that.”
After two weeks, take a look at how your boss is dressing. Is she in tennis shoes, a t-shirt, and jeans? Then feel free to scale down a bit.

However, no matter how casual you are allowed to be at work there are some definite no-nos. It doesn’t matter if the company allows flip-flops, never wear them in the office, even if others do. Do not wear clothes that is stained or torn or shabby looking. Stay away from huge earrings. Do not show cleavage or wear a skirt that rides up when you sit down. Underwear is to never ever show. That includes bra straps. Tattoos should be covered. The work place is no place to show off your ink.

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