Clothes Don’t Matter

Twenty years ago I would have argued; what a person wears has nothing to do with how well they do their job. I would have said, it doesn’t matter if one person wears old jeans and a tee shirt and another wears an Armani suit to work, both can be just as effective. Then I had the chance to manage the calling floor for a telemarketing company. As much as I did not want to admit it, over time I had to accept one simple fact: the calling statistics showed beyond doubt, the better one is dressed the more sales they had at the end of the day.

The numbers consistently showed the guy who came to work, sat up in his chair while he wore a button down shirt and khaki pants always outperformed the one who showed up wearing cutoffs and a tank top shirt while slumped at his desk.

Over the years I talked to a lot of people about my findings. Most confirmed when they dressed better they felt more professional and had a greater desire to present themselves as successful. I had to admit, that was my own experience as well.

A while back I was at a networking event and spoke to a very nice man who wore a white shirt that needed ironing and was just barely tucked in, scuffed up shoes, and a head of hair that appeared to be begging for a comb. Should this matter? If the world were as enlightened as a Buddha Vista the answer would be no. If the world were occupied only by people who had transcended the materialism and the suffering brought on by “wanting,” we would look at this individual and only see the beauty within never noticing the wrinkled attire he had chosen to wrap around his body.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. The truth is, this man obviously looked out of place. He was not shunned by the other networkers, they were too professional for that, but one could see he was not being taken as seriously as he should have been. And I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable. This meant his ability to create new business contacts was being hindered. And in the big picture, the whole reason for his attending was to create new business contacts.

The point is, you don’t need to wear a $1500.00 suit, with a $500.00 tie, but you do need to look like you are the brilliant networker that you are. You need people to look at you and quickly ascertain, this is a person who can get things done. Others will be more likely to want to spend time with you, and then you will be able to show them the beautiful person within. You will feel better and you will be able to do a better job for yourself and your employer.

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