Decode Summertime Casual Fridays

Career & Workplace

decode summertime casual fridays
Do you ever feel like “Casual Friday” in the summer months is like looking at an artistic photo that’s supposed to mean something? The problem is, everyone interprets that meaning in a slightly different way. Business Casual is tricky anyway (the link is to all the blogs on this site that address the subject), but summer heat and vacation mode seem to make “casual” more important than “business” for a lot of us. The problem is that the wrong kind of casual keeps you from being taken seriously.

Break The Code In Your Workplace

It doesn’t really matter what anybody else says about how to dress in the workplace. Really. What matters to you is the written and unwritten dress code that is being used right now where you actually work. So start with the written code — ask for a copy of the official “how to dress for this workplace” dress code that Human Resources should have on paper.
Now take that paper home and pull out everything in your wardrobe that works within the guidelines. Some people even keep their work wardrobe separate from their non-work wardrobe so that mornings are easier on business days. Figure out a basic “work uniform” that will be the foundation of what you wear all the time. Many suggest switching out only one thing on casual days to lighten up the look but stay professional.
Having the written code down lets you evaluate the unwritten code you see around you at work.  Notice who is showing a lot of skin, and who is wearing flip flops — what positions do these people hold? Unless you work at a scuba diving shop on the beach, it’s probably not your boss. Every company has a culture, and the clothes we wear reflect the culture. But every company also has a hierarchy and the clothes we wear send signals about where we see ourselves in that hierarchy.
If you want to break the code for your workplace, pay attention to what your supervisors and the higher-ups are wearing. You’ll start to see that those who are taken seriously at their job take their wardrobe — even summertime casual Fridays — seriously, too.

Projecting a Professional Image

Career & WorkplaceInterviewingJob Search

Projecting a Professional Image
By now everyone has heard about people being hired and then either dismissed during the probationary period or shunned to the back room because of tattoos and/or piercings. Because these displays of individuality are becoming more common, you might not give it a second thought when you arrive at your interview with a nose ring. The truth is: you should be giving your appearance a second thought when looking for employment.
As part of your job search/interview prep, you need to determine the climate of the place where you are applying. Some companies have no problem with body art or multiple piercings. However, other work environments consider them to be detrimental to the company image. While it’s rare that a stellar candidate would be automatically excluded based on this alone, in a tough job market where there are several great candidates vying for every position, it could be problematic.
New graduates need to remember that it’s rare that others of their immediate generation will be the ones hiring. You will generally be interviewed by someone who has been in the workforce for a number of years, so their standards are the ones you need to be mindful of when deciding whether or not to wear your piercings to job interviews or on the job.
On the other hand, some companies may simply not care at all.
Common sense advice: research the company prior to applying for the job. Of course the reality is that often people apply to every place with an opening. Either way, add to your list of things to look into the personal grooming policies of the company regarding tattoos and piercings.
You want to project a professional image that is inline with others at the company. Abiding by the dress code in the environment you’re applying to will save you from entering into an awkward situation with the hiring manager, and, could even be the difference in getting the job or politely being shown the door.