October 22, 2010

Change Your Fashion or Lose Your Job?

“Who you talking to” was the response of an employee who was requested to remove her large earrings and neon colored nail polish prior to returning to work from her break. Her manager responded with a threat to fire her if she didn’t respect his request and the company's dress code.

Fashion is a great way to express our identity, but it should not cause us to lose our job. Here are some suggestions to keep your fashion and your job:

  • Learn and stick to your employer’s dress code - Fashion should coincide with your employer’s business image. If your employer is conservative, then your attire (i.e., hair, nails, and clothes) should follow suit.

  • Don’t let your fashion overshadow your skills – First impression is a lasting impression. What’s the first impression your attire gives? Does it scream at prospective or recurring customers? If so, tone it down.

  • Go Neutral - Trim your nails and wear neutral nail colors. And, limit nail art in a conservative work environment.

  • Save your fashion sense for the weekend or your day(s) off – This is a great time to express yourself through fashion without feeling confined. But don’t go too far because you never know when you may run into one of your employer’s customers.

  • Change jobs or become an entrepreneur - Find a company that will embrace your fashion or start your own company to express yourself freely.

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