Want to climb the corporate ladder? Well, then forget polishing educational skills and long hours of hard work, for a good dress and killer heels are more than enough to do the trick.
That’s the conclusion of a leading fashion expert, who says that workplace dress codes and office etiquette has been on the decline in recent years, however, new trends suggest the vast majority of employees are sabotaging their career simply by making the wrong wardrobe choices, with Gen Y amongst the worst offenders.
Employees are shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t take grooming and dress sense seriously, Dominic Beirne of fashion consultancy Australian Fashion Partners says. “Most employers take every opportunity they can to judge staff, and employees can be overlooked for promotions if they don’t present themselves accordingly,” News.com.au quoted him, as saying.
Earlier this week the Reserve Bank tipped up to 100,000 jobs to be axed in the coming year, meaning workers need to up-the-ante if they’re going to remain in the office chair, and dressing for success may just help secure the top job.
Casual Fridays are one of the biggest tests in the dress code arena and where most employees fall victim to office scrutiny.
There has been a significant shift from casual Friday to casual Monday-Thursday, says Annalisa Armitage, senior image consultant for the Association of Image Consultants International. “Employees are just far too lax in their opinions of business casual and there is a want for clarification of this term,” she said.
According to Jodie Bache-Mclean, Queensland Director of leading etiquette school June Dally-Watkins, business casual simply means slightly less structured than you would wear on other days of the week. “It does not mean sloppy nor even in some cases relaxed, and the same image of professionalism needs to remain at all times,” she said.
If you’re looking to make it big steer clear of plunging necklines, cheap suits and tacky accessories, Bache-Mclean says.
“You need to dress like someone who can help,” she said. Dirty nails, ripped jeans and looking like you just stepped out of a nightclub are among some of the other common blunders.