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Do Your Employees Dress For Failure?
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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2014 | 10:14:19 AM
Re: some implementation details
I don't disagree a bit with you that many people you do not know will make superficial judgements about you, much of that based on how you look. I would not wear a hoodie and sweatpants even to a job interview at Facebook, even though the founder dresses that way. If it is important to you what people you do not know think about you, by all means they should follow your advice.

My points are directed towards already having a job. And I'll leave Fortune 500 out of this, those companies are so big you know people just about as well as the people you see in a New York subway station. You are constantly making a first impression in a place like that, along with dealing with constant politics and CYA behavior. You better "play the game" if you want to work in place like that, and your advice is something you have to do if you goal is to rise thru the ranks. Heck, since many of them throw out the 10% they don't like every year, you better do it to survive.

But for the rest of us who work at SMB, who our coworkers become like family, this dress up idea is senseless. It has nothing to do with being "professional". I design systems and write code for a living, I guarantee you I'm as professional at that as anyone you will ever meet. But you can't convince me how I dress has anything to do with that. If my applications work and make my coworkers jobs easier and more efficient, make our company easier for our external customers to do business with, no one cares that I get that done in jeans and t-shirt. This is a forum for IT people, not salesmen and HR.
norris1231
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norris1231,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 9:46:30 PM
Re: some implementation details
@TerryB. I don't think a price tag can be placed on dressing neat and professionally.  One can take a cheap pair of pants from Wal-Mart and a nice dress shirt and look professional.  I strongly believe that one should not be allowed to wear jeans to a Fortune 500 company.  I do not believe tie's are necessary.  "Most people make initial decisions about you in the first five minutes they meet you. " (Career builder (2013) website: http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-929-The-Workplace-Do-You-Dress-for-Success/).  The way you dress might make a difference if your even considered for the next promotion or if your superiors even take you seriously.  This concept is directed towards professional careers.
norris1231
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norris1231,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 9:34:58 PM
Re: Mixed Feelings
@GM. You make a very good point.  Companies have changed their requirement, but we can also agree to disagree.  I believe as a business man or woman you should fit the part.  One who has a B.A., Masters, or even a Doctoral degree should look, act, and talk the part.  Dressing says a lot about a person and in my opinion makes a strong judgment of their character.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/9/2014 | 2:00:44 PM
Re: some implementation details
Let me just put in a good word for today's young people. From my experience, they have a lot more on the ball than my generation did at the same age. They're more aware and less prone to doing truly stupid things. They're kinder, more respectful. I do find that they're less independent--the victims of too much Mommying and Daddying. Generalizations such as those are always prone to criticism...just my limited observations. I wish I was as "together" in my late teens as my sons are.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2014 | 1:30:41 PM
Re: some implementation details
This certainly a discussion where no opinion is wrong but I don't get the connection to showing respect for others. If I'm wearing a $1000 tailored Armeni suit and silk tie and you are in your $150 JC Penny special, does that really make you feel good about yourself? The CEO and lowest clerk look the same in a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. Which is why the CEO's are the last to want dress up era to end. How else is anyone going to look at them and know they are important?

Do you think your granddad was respected doctor because he dressed nicely or was a really good doctor? I highly suspect the latter. It is very unusual to see a doctor in a suit and tie today. In his day, perfectly normal.
mferrari123
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mferrari123,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/7/2014 | 7:56:50 PM
Re: some implementation details
I completely agree. My grandfather, a respected doctor told me that wearing a tie and a suite to work and being presentable is a way to demonstrate respect for others in a business environment. 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/7/2014 | 5:18:36 PM
Re: Mixed Feelings
I think that lack of investment in people is so true -- employers seem to feel that if they pay for training, empoyees will then use those skills to find new gigs. And that may be true in some cases, but it seems like if a company treats its people well, there is still some loyalty left in the world.
Todder
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Todder,
User Rank: Strategist
1/7/2014 | 4:56:39 PM
Re: some implementation details
Communication skills are declining in new grads because 2ndary education is failing us. The pressure to pump out srtudents is systemic in North America. Add in the social network and media which pervades most under-30 lives and it exacerbates the shortage of skill. U-30s live in a tweet world. Short bursts, phasors on stunned. I've reocgnized the poor knitting of words, sentences, paragraphs in my own kids and others.

Attention spans are minimal. The art of conversation (which leads to more enlightened writing) is pretty much absent now a days. Go to any restaurant for business or family meal, and watch the dynamic. Texting is short-burst comms, it prevails.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2014 | 1:06:16 PM
Re: some implementation details
Shallowness. Excellent choice of words. Looking like you should know what you are doing and actually being good at what you do are two different things.

Unless you face external customers who actually drive your revenue, who may just be shallow but you'll still take their money, dress should be irrelevant. I can talk to an IT person for 10 minutes and tell you if he is any good, even if he is sitting in his (or her) underwear.

Now communication skills, that is a whole different ballgame. That is a critical skill in IT. And pretty much any other job unless you are a low level, head down data entry type person. For example, whether my A/P clerk has communication skills is probably not relevant. But funny thing is, most of them are fine communicators anyway. :-)
TechNoSeattle
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TechNoSeattle,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/7/2014 | 12:25:38 PM
Re: Mixed Feelings
Norris1231, I just don't think there's any causality between attire and training.  Attire is changing because tastes are changing, in the 70s seeing a guy with a moustache and sideburns was unremarkable; today Will Ferrell makes millions satirizing it.  IMHO, the emphasis on training is going down because the emphasis on people is going down, we've convinced ourselves that investment in people is not "cost-effective" in the same way investments in capital improvements and technology appear to be.
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