Though this is primary a personal finance blog, the source of your income is as big a factor as anything else. After all, its much easier to save when you have more disposable income. So in this series I would like to focus on small tips to help your career along.
I figured I would start out with something that I am historically not that great at. The truth is, when I worked at HP, I almost never had any sort of interaction that wasn’t over the phone. Not only did I not dress up at all, but really, I hardly bothered to get dressed at all. Old scragly tshirts with adidas flip flops and some old shorts. Now, this was great for being alone sitting in a cubicle all day. As I have gotten older I have phased in and out of dressing well, but I am starting to settle into being routine about dressing well. This is thanks in no small part to my girlfriend, who is bothered to the point of wanting to physically harm me when she sees me wear thin old tshirts…which is good because I need a good kick in the pants to go out and buy some nice stuff once in a while. But I digress….
Lets have a look at the phases of work:
Interview – Dressing up for an interview shows several things.
1) I care about this job
2) I want to distinguish myself from the other candidates
3) I am professional
Beginning work – This is where you are just starting to meet people and get comfortable in your job. Most people want to make good impressions on people, and dressing up a bit does help tell people “Hey this guy/girl has his/her stuff together.”
Routine work – For most people (myself included) this is where the dress code starts to slip, especially for engineers. I would say that this is where the lifestyle change happens. You aren’t in college any more, right? So STOP dressing like a college kid….or at least only a few times a week. This will help keep everyone viewing you in a professional manner as well as generally make you feel better about yourself.
I’m not suggesting you have to go out and buy super expensive clothing. I am saying that a few pairs of nice well-fitting jeans, maybe some slacks, and some decent shirts to supplant the “Girls Gone Wild 2002!” tshirt and the jeans that look like they survived world war 2.