Though Day 83 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has technically passed, I’d like to share how the day’s image consultation reinforced the importance of dressing to impress in our careers. When seeking a new position or a promotion, I’ve found it pays to dress for the role you want instead of simply dressing for the one you have. Not only have I seen the benefits of this practice in my own career in the education, corporate and non-profit sectors, as an Image Consultant, I’ve watched smart, competent, qualified women whose professional packaging didn’t match those qualities be passed over time and again. By being savvy and chic about their professional sense of style, however, these same women have not only been promoted, they’ve experienced advanced acceleration in their careers.
When I was made homeless by my abusive wasband (was + husband), I literally had no clothes but the ones on my back. Another woman who understood the importance of having a good suit for interviewing purchased one for me. She also paid for me to have my hair done. I’ll forever be grateful to her for the boost to my confidence and esteem…
After making a whirlwind return to the workforce and working nine months (I called it a school year) as a pre-K teacher in an early childhood center so my toddler and preschool children could go to work with me, I maximized my business degree and Elementary Education degrees to land my then dream job as a Kinder Care Director (90% discount on tuition – Hello!). When I interviewed with the recruiter for the Assistant Director opening, I wore the suit. My friend, now husband, questioned why I’d wear a suit to work in a child care center. “Because I’m dressing for the Director job I want.” And sure enough, the recruiter called the district manager and told her, “This one’s Director in Training material.” Soon after that, I was flown to Minnesota and driven by limousine to interview for a directorship at Childtime. Mind you – I was living in subsidized housing by then and driving a disreputable van that I had to park out of sight for interviews. But I didn’t look like that. I looked like a Director. So I received offers from the world’s two largest corporate child care providers in the airport on my way home to the projects. When I told KinderCare I was going to go with Childtime, the Director in Training role became Director position. Not all because of the suit, but largely because of it. I’d like to think I had a little something to do with it and I know God’s hand was all over it.
Another example of dressing to impress in order to get the role you want is with one of my image consultation clients who was one of the most valuable players on her team who helped the attorneys to get their jobs done. Her professional packaging was doing her no favors and her contributions went unnoticed. Following our initial consultation where we revamped her work wardrobe so her outside was an accurate reflection of her inner rockstar, she was no longer invisible and began to receive the recognition she deserved. Then, when we completed a makeover so she could run for a high level position in Toastmasters, she exceeded everyone’s expectations by being elected to and excelling in that high responsibility/visibility role. Again, the clothes and makeup didn’t get her the position, her hard work did, but they didn’t hurt her either.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who loves dressing just to dress, I love dressing women and addressing their sense of style barriers just as much. Doing so today was incredibly rewarding. And so much fun! My Pink Collar Savvy & Chic client has already made so many investments in her professional development. I can’t wait to watch her advance as she maximizes her new sense of style and dresses to impress so she can land the job she wants and live her best professional life.
What about you? Where are you on the dress to impress continuum? Whether you’re on the home front, in the workplace or both, do you need to own your sense of style to put your best foot forward and feel your best? I’d love to support you. Please email me to schedule a complimentary assessment. Thank you!
~Pink Collar Coach