Dress for the Role You Want, Not the One You Have

Posted on: Oct 03, 2013

Categories: Motivation

To put it simply, if you’re currently playing the role of associate, you can’t dress and act like an associate and expect to get the role of manager. Designing your costume is an integral part of creating your character. If you’re going to commit to updating your script, you need to commit to updating your costume.

Your costume helps the audience identify elements of your character before you move a muscle or speak a single word. By costume, I am not simply referring to your wardrobe, though it is important. Your costume also includes how you carry yourself, how you communicate, and your overall presentation.

If you’re an actor auditioning for a role, when you walk into the room with the other auditioners, you’ll probably notice a lot of similarities between yourself and your competition. They’ll probably be of the same height and build, around the same age and with the same talents.

How will you make yourself stand out?

If you’re competing for a raise or looking to fill a new role in your company, maybe it’s time for a makeover and a new costume to make you feel comfortable and prepared for a new part in your show.

If you want that promotion, show up to work on time with your costume pressed. Maybe that means you’re wearing the company tie with your shirt neatly tucked while your co-workers show up in jeans. There will come a time when you can call your own shots and dressing to impress won’t be as crucial as it is now, but that time comes after you’ve earned the part. When people begin to value your passion and insight, that will stand out above and beyond your fashion choices.

If you need further inspiration, try some of these suggestions to redesign your costume:

  • Overdress for networking. Even if you’re just meeting a potential connection for coffee, present yourself like the star that you are, and don’t show up in jeans that say you’re not trying.

  • Pay attention to details. If you’re interviewing, it’s the little details that will distract the interviewee. Bring a padfolio to take notes, be prepared with questions, and turn your phone off before you enter the building. Don’t glance at your phone throughout the interview. Ever.

  • Look at how your boss dresses. Do you want to be your own boss? Then stop dressing like an employee, and start walking in your boss’ shoes until they fit.

Remember, the role you’re playing is the star of your show, so dress accordingly.

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