Dressing For Career Success And Advancement
You may be a hard worker and a deep thinker but could it be your clothes that are the key to career advancement? Career-influencing decisions based on a individual’s appearance begin the moment you walk in the door for an interview. In a survey, only 3.7% of those polled believed that a person’s appearance in a job interview did not affect the hiring decision. A whopping 76.4% replied in the affirmative, believing that personal appearance does affect hiring decisions.
Does Personal Appearance Matter?
Personal appearance and grooming matter in the workplace in the Middle East and North Africa, not only at the interview stage, but throughout your career. The polls again bear out this piece of received wisdom. A survey found that 83.4% of the professionals polled believe that personal appearance is directly linked to professional success. Good grooming is taken as a mark of a person who takes his or her job seriously, and has a good character.
What the Statistics Say
Over 60% of working professionals believe that good grooming indicates a happy, confident, successful personality. Consequently nearly half of them spend substantial amounts of time and money on personal grooming and clothes. Over 75% make a considerable effort in the presentation of their appearance.
Understated elegance is the style to aim for, as it can never go wrong. It is important to remember that your appearance is seen by your boss and colleagues as a reflection of your commitment to your job and to the organization. The majority of working professional (over 60%) wears Western business clothes at work. Less than 30% report wearing informal casual clothes to work. Less than 10% wear traditional clothes to work. These numbers suggest that even in a casual work environment, clothes must be work-appropriate.
A large number of those surveyed – 46.4% – said that they were not initially aware of a dress code in their organization, and only discovered later that there was one. Nevertheless 77.3% believed that they ran the risk of being judged negatively because of their dress or appearance. Over half said that tattoos and piercings were not allowed in their office.
What Does it Mean?
Appearance and grooming are so important in the workplace because each employee also serves, consciously or unconsciously, as a representative of the organization to other businesses or to the general public. No organization can afford to have employees who are sloppily or in appropriately dressed, as this reflects back on the entire company.
Presentation is thus as important for career success as hard work and organization skills. A person who dresses professionally will be seen as someone who is professional, work-oriented, serious and upward-bound. These perceptions subtly but inevitably become part of the way your overall value to the organization is judged. As such, you appearance and grooming may hold the key to your career success.