It takes just 7 seconds to form a first impression. And they dominate impressions later down the line too, adding to them rather than being replaced at a later date. Additionally, dressing for success is currently a huge topic – and making the right impression visually cannot only contribute to landing you the job of your dreams, but that promotion you’re after too.
Welcome Fielding and Nicholson
Broadly speaking formal is favourable in an office environment. And so today we enjoy a guest contribution from esteemed international tailors Fielding and Nicholson about how to get your dress code right, and dress for success. We hand over to Ian Fielding-Calcutt, Founder and CEO of the company.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Corporate life has a continual focus on the next step; What’s the next role? How long do I need to stay in this one before progressing to the next? What do I need to achieve before I can get there?
At some point or another you are bound to be feeling it’s time your work was recognised and you were offered the challenge of the next role up. Time for that promotion!
I’ve had some interesting conversations lately; a few people have talked to me about examples of people who have been advised to work on their image and impact to get a promotion. People who have been told they have the right skills and experience but they need to work on what and how they communicate visually to make the next step up. This can be frustrating for the individual whose first question is usually “Why should that matter?”.
Firstly let’s think about why someone might make such a comment.
Moving into a more senior role is likely to mean you manage a team or bigger team than currently and you may have more of a leading role with clients. In both cases, increased credibility is important and this can be supported visually, especially as what we communicate visually is the dominant way in which we make an impression on others and influence them.
It’s the Little Things
Now we’ve covered why visual change can help us get a promotion, we look at how. Firstly, when it comes to the workplace, I’ve discovered small, positive developments in our actual work could be more likely to get noticed if people see something visually different happen alongside them too.
Secondly, here are my 5 top tips for making some small changes to your image to increase your chances of getting noticed and being promoted.
1. Find your style – do you have a definitive style that’s yours? Or, are you totally blending in with others? As your seniority increases, you need to look less like you are wearing a ‘uniform’. The additional benefit is that feeling more like you in how you dress will boost your confidence and you’ll perform better.
2. Dress code level – is your style appropriate for your company? Is it appropriate for the job you want to have?
3. Colour combos - Colour is extremely powerful in what it communicates in itself and the combinations chosen. Also, wearing colour tones that work for you will make sure others are drawn to your face – your communication centre.
4. Style & fit – clothing & accessories should never be a distraction from you; they should help draw people to you. Choosing items that flatter you in every way from the shape and cut through to patterns, necklines and accessories will help you look great and draw attention to your face.
5. Attention to detail – it might sound over the top but details do matter, different people notice different things so always aim for your entire ensemble to be polished, even if it is casual – your clothes, your make-up, nails and shoes included. Any sloppiness regarding your appearance can have a negative impact on others and your image. Accessories are a very powerful ‘detail’ that can radically change an outfit – to dress it up or down and add interest.
Finally, my advice would be to not make lots of changes over night; this might seem a bit odd. Gradually make them over a period of time, perhaps a month or more. That way you don't look like you're trying too hard - for example, sporting a pocket handkerchief too soon could end in tragedy if your bosses perceive you to be 'above your station'.
Thanks to Ian for his advice! If you’re interested in any additional style tips from the tailor firm, drop them a line...