Dress for the Job You Want?

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, is a popular saying. I recently pulled the trigger on having some awesome American Apparel shirts made with our logo on it. I did this not to sell online (although, now that I think of it, let me know if you think we should – our logo is pretty sweet), but to wear almost everyday of the week. I guess I did it because I want to run a successful snack company and am proud to endorse our products.

I have seen Jonny Imerman wearing his Imerman Angels’ T-Shirt around Chicago. If you don’t know what Imerman Angels is, it’s a non-profit dedicated to providing personalized connections that enable one-on-one support among cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers (www.ImermanAngels.org). I was fortunate to meet and work with someone who used their services and thought highly of the organization.

I have never met Jonny, nor had any interaction with their organization besides working with someone who used their services. I do know what they stand for though, and knew before my co-worker told me about his cancer.

While we are no Imerman Angels, I am proud to wear my newly crafted T-shirts almost everyday. I’m hoping people ask me about the shirt and give me a chance to explain how much we love high quality snacks and why they should be enjoyed with your favorite beer, while hanging out with friends.

I was at a cocktail party last night and spoke to two different guys with two different outfits. One was in a traditional grey suit & one was dressed all in black, with this crazy and awesome black coat that was part leather and part wool. Traditional suit = lawyer. Crazy blacked-out pants, shirt, tie, leather-esque jacket = tech consultant/programmer/mobile-app-gaming creator.  Both were successful in their own right. My point is that both fit the archetype of a lawyer and a creative/tech consultant.

I’m not saying fall in line and follow blindly – I’m saying open your eyes and see why those people are successful in what they’re doing. Can you borrow a simple trait like dressing like them and change your perception and maybe the way people perceive you?

I ask, are you dressing for the job you want? How do you want to be perceived? Appropriate or not, people treat you differently based on your appearance. What’s more interesting, is do YOU act differently based on what you wear? Seems like all the studies I’ve seen say yes. Is there a position you want, a job you’d like to have? What do those people wear, what actions do they take? Why aren’t you doing the same? It’s an easy place to start.


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