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Image is Everything


Image is Everything

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Image is Everything

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SQLNightOwl
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I think there are at least two perspectives on the question. The perspective Steve addressed is "does what you wear impact your performance". I believe Steve is correct that it doesn't. I've been just as productive in a suite and tie (banking work) as I have in a bath robe (telecommuting). It's probably a valid point that that the more comfortable you are, the less outside distraction there is and therefore; the more productive you are. Another perspective is "what you're trying to communicate with your image". In this, other peoples perception of your competence and professionalism is their reality.

Me personally, I tend to dress like my boss. If my boss is on an upward track (she is) then that position will become open and it gives upper management a "warm fuzzy feeling" that they won't need to modify my behavior to have me fit that role. Some will say that's silly however; being dressed and behave in a manner that the company isn't embarrassed to stick me in front of a client hasn't hurt my career. It all comes down to what you want to accomplish.

--Paul Hunter
Steve Jones
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Mimicking your boss is probably a good idea if you want to take his slot. These things do matter to some people and if you don't mind, why not.

There was a time in my life I enjoyed dressing up, but there was a time I didn't mind working 80 hours a week as well. That time is past.

Now I don't want to be distracted by a tie, or by being uncomfortable. But that's me; I'm interested to hear what others think.

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katedgrt
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Ah, the image question. This is a little different for us she-BAs (actually I'm a dev/architect but I love the new term I learned). There is an element of personal style involved and a good deal more leeway in what is acceptable or not--therefore even more is left up to individual judgement. Unfortunately for me I have never been what you would call a girly-girl and I'd prefer to dress in cotton pajama pants most of the time.

And it is different as a consultant than in a fte role. I've heard the 'dress like your boss' advice before and it is a handy rule of thumb when dress codes are not explicit; I also agree that it is of use primarily if you aspire to a role matching theirs. The expectation for a consultant is usually to dress one better than the folks you are working around. Again, this is not exactly my default mode.

Ideally, we would all be judged on the content of our character and the work product we provide, but studies show that looks matter more than most of us would care to admit. The result for me is that I put effort into making a good first impression, so I spend about the first week or 2 on each gig dressing as if I was going into a bank and wearing full makeup. I often dress out on Mondays, too. (You just never know what might happen on a Monday.) However, I am just such a low-maintenance person that once I get situated in my surroundings I revert to the most comfortable clothing allowed. This gives my work a chance to speak for itself before I slack off on appearance. When given the opportunity to speak or teach, I use the same approach, but on a shorter term basis. A one-time spot requires more attention to image, but in a classroom situation I am as casual as my students by the 3rd day.

For what you do, unless you plan to use the podcast to audition for future work, I don't know that I would bother too much about it; as you stated you are neat and hygenic and moreover consistent. I'm curious if you ever got any other comments on this? I just assumed you were wearing what you wear to work in and I wouldn't expect otherwise. In fact, I'm a bit jealous. Wink

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GSquared
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Since no way that I dress will ever make me look good, nor will what I wear make a difference in how well I do my job, I just try to go with what is expected. Currently, I work for a financial firm, so it's shirt and tie. My last job, I could have gotten away with jeans and t-shirts, but the majority of the company was slacks and polo shirts, so I went with that. It doesn't matter to me, so I just try to dress in such a way that it makes the people around me comfortable.

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swjohnson
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I have worked in both environments where we were required to wear a suit and a tie. So, I had fun with it and always wore bow-ties. In my current position we get to wear jeans and casual clothes. To me it doesn't matter.

My host-father in Brazil had a funny way of putting it. "Why on God's earth would I want my executives to put something around their neck that cuts the flow of blood off to their brain. I want them to think and be smart so I don't care what they wear as long as they get it right!"

I agree!


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emmchild
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Ties are for formal events and my daily work activities don't qualify. I tend to avoid situations that require the daily suit and tie. Seriously, why have someone have a good first impression if the lasting impression is what counts. An ineffective person in a suit is still ineffective person. Its like the person that buys all the high end sports equipment and cant produce in the heat of battle.

Steve I see your tee-shirt as a symbol of your success. You are the editor of the #1 education and community site for SQL Server...in the world Steve, not the city, the WORLD. The editorials and newsletter ARE the reasons why REAL PROFESSIONALS and aspiring professionals come to the site.



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Coming into a new situation, I dress to match the people around me. That said, to address the HR person commenting on Steve's attire, I really don't see how it matters what Steve wears for his podcast. First off, it's NOT directed at HR types. If they are watching, fine but it's directed to us, the troops in the trenches (at least IMHO). So as long as the podcast is not an interview device, it should not matter and Joe or Jane HR should stick to telling their own employees how to dress.



Scott Herbert-214404
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I work where business attire is expected 4 days a week, and "smart" casual on the 5th. I fail to understand what it is that makes Fridays different from the rest of the week.

I'm more comfortable and work better when wearing sensible, casual clothing. Ties are a silly, uncomfortable, effette invention which should be wiped out, except for the tie I wore to my wedding, which was hella sweet.
Mike O'Neill
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Hi

I work for a big Corporate in South Africa , for many years now we have had a "casual" approach to dress code . Working as I did until recently in a Manufacturing environement that was wet and noisy , you normally dressed down to suit those conditions. After all in summerh here its quite often 30 deg C +

I now work as the IT support manager for that manufacturing environment in our corporate HQ and as such my only contact with the outside world is email and other electronic forms , most of the users I support don't even know what I look like let alone what I wear.

The group I work in comprise a mix of Support Analysts and Developers and we maintain the casual aproach. What difference can a "polo shirt" as opposed to a "long sleeeved shirt and tie" make to the way I manage my team and how I support my customers, its people not images that matter.

I suppose the outrageous T shirt brigade will continue to exist , but "clothes do not make a man" , I command respect (I hope) by my actions and the principals that I follow

Cheers
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