The Amazing Tom turned me on to this article at Forbes. It is on what to wear to an interview, which came up in the comments on another post the other day. One of the things that drives me crazy is when my local news station says to dress warmly on cold days and to stay hydrated on warm ones. From this article:
When hiring managers see you for the first time, they carefully assess how you present yourself. They immediately notice your clothes. They think, “Would you be a good representative of our company? Will you quickly be respected and listened to during a presentation, or will your outfit hurt your credibility?” “What will leadership think of this person? How will your appearance be viewed by a client or customer?”
If you have to be told that your interviewer will be assessing whether you would be a good representative for their company, perhaps there are… bigger problems.
It did lead me to think though about The Red Sneaker Effect. For those not familiar, it is the idea that one small piece of nonconformity communicates status and competence at work You can read the abstract about it here (Harvard Business School). I like this concept, because it speaks to both individuality and a boundary.
And Ivy. Because as the rules have changed, our repp ties and OCBD’s are a small piece of nonconformity. Our traditional has now become a teeny bit eccentric, and THAT DOES convey status and competence. There is a link in the abstract to the 20 page piece, it is worth our while. If you are going to, I can save you a step.
It is an interesting idea, adding one piece of nonconformity to distinguish yourself. I do that with glasses I think – I prefer round yellow ones. Also, most times, I carry a fountain pen in my shirt pocket that I don’t wind up using.
The trick is to find the fulcrum. Too much movement away from tradition and… you are a clown. A bro vest can be an eccentricity. I am not a bro vest wearer, but I know some. It doesn’t make me as nuts as it does others, but The Wall Street Journal makes my point about fulcrum. (paywall, sometimes, I dunno)