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Dress for the job you want, or be yourself?

“Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” is something we’ve all heard at some point in our careers. Yet, some of us have been taught from a young age to shed the lie of outer appearances and be comfortable in our own skin. We’ve been taught to skip over the red lip and high heel or the extra gel because it’s what’s inside that really matters, right? In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter that you weren’t wearing a tie to your big interview. Unfortunately though, ours is far from one.

Many of us who have been working the same job for years, or those of us who work from home, tend to slip up in this area. We eventually succumb to a less than fabulous uniform – for the lack of a better word. You might think, “Why should I get dressed up to sit in front of a computer all day long?” Because your external appearance is a direct reflection of how you feel within, of your self-confidence and self-respect. Beauty might be on the inside, but whether or not you choose to look presentable is entirely up to you. As much as we want to be unique and non-conforming, nobody can deny the boost of confidence that comes with looking nice for the day.

It doesn’t help to drag your feet around in your worn out, patched up jeans. It is human tendency to be pulled towards individuals who share similar traits as us: who dress like us, think like us and talk like us. Therefore, your superiors will probably take more notice of you if you dress more like them. I’m not saying that your appearance is more important than your talent. What I am saying is that, unfortunately, most people make a perception on first impressions, which is appearance. Your superiors have to see you as managerial material to think of you like one. It also goes to say that you can picture yourself there and how much you want it.

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It all comes down to this, if you look good you will feel good and vice versa. Even if you don’t have the job you want right now, and don’t feel motivated, get dressed up. Take out the time to wear something nice and do your hair/makeup. Pamper yourself once in a while, whether it’s a manicure or nice clean shave, do it. A little pampering will go a long way in boosting your self-confidence. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to do it, but just put on a clean shirt, trousers and maybe that tie. The truth is, if you want to get that promotion as a manager, you have to look the part.

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