Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What to wear or what not to wear for work

Today gothlings and non-gothy folks, I am going to talk about dressing for the corporate world. I know depending on the industry you work for, some clothing/jewellery items are more acceptable than others. For instance, when I worked in the more corporate offices, pin-stripped suits were my best friend and anything that was not typical office wear was frowned upon. I am well aware that A LOT of the things I wear at my current office would of definitely sent me packing in previous jobs but there are some essential little rules I have acquired over the years:



- Know, and never cross, the boundaries of tolerance in appearance for your specific profession.

- Wean them in - establish mutual respect and then slowly show your true colors (or in this case lack of colors!) 

- Dress in a manner that is comfortable for your coworkers (within reason). Compromise enough to establish a good working relationship with your coworkers.



Know, and never cross, the boundaries of tolerance in appearance for your specific profession.
I noticed, depending on the industry, some offices are more lenient than others. I work in fashion so I can get away a little more than when I was working in the financial service industry. I can get away with fishnet stockings, my skirt with D-rings, tu-tu skirts, my 14 hole Doc Martens (worn with pants, leggings and tights),  occasional band t-shirt, visible facial piercings and tattoos and I am receptionist!

On the other hand, my spider web stockings, corsets, leather collar with spikes,visible garter belts, fishnet shirt, clothing with skulls on them, any ripped up clothing,  my big gothy boots that buckle up to my knees, are best left for the weekends or after work.

I have had many discussions with my immediate supervisor on this subject. I even have asked both my boss and immediate supervisor for permission when I got my facial piercing.



Wean them in - establish mutual respect and then slowly show your true colors (or in this case lack of colors!)  I did not immediately start to dress this way either. In fact, when I first started working for my current employer, I was "normal".  I like to say that it was a phase I was going through at the time. I foolishly felt like since I was a first time mom, I had to dress for the part. I was also getting out of a weird funk I was in. Those closest to me used to play "spot the goth undertones" because as much as I denied it, the real me was still there.

This all changed gradually and although my boss said I could wear whatever I wanted - within reason, I did not immediately prance into work all decked out. I worked my way to it. Yes, sometimes shocking the more conservative people can be amusing but we don't want to do this in an office! I took my time, built my confidence up at work. Another trick is to balance out with the more gothier looking outfits with the more conservative looking ones. One day, I wear the skirt with the D-rings and the next day, a very smart looking pair of black jeans and a plain t-shirt.



Dress in a manner that is comfortable for your coworkers (within reason). Compromise enough to establish a good working relationship with your coworkers.
Today, co-workers cannot imagine me wearing the things I used to or even looking the way I did when I first started and I am occasionally complimented for some of the things I wear. This acceptance hasn't always come easy and I coped with it by networking. When interacting with my colleagues, I am always professional, polite, and courteous. It doesn't mean you should spend personal time with them (unless you want to) or let them take advantage of you being nice and helpful, or even make fun of you for what you wear. I like to think that it speaks volumes when you can come to work and establish yourself as a valuable key player within the company. Make it so they see you, see how smart and capable you are. In the end, the clothes won't be noticed so much but your personality, your ability to get the job done well is what stands out. It does take a lot of work but in the end, if you cannot have a professional rapport with your co-workers, this could massively backfire on you. If you think about it, you should be doing this anyway in any job dress code or not.

 I also noticed that relating to people, even in a small way, helps. I am fortunate, there are tons of young parents at my company and it is so much easier to talk about the silly things your kids do vs trying to make conversation with people you clearly have nothing in common with (this is especially true for me. Some of my coworkers are really into sports and I am the more artsy type). Show them that you are human. It is funny how some people can perceive others. Sometimes, non-gothy people actually want to talk to us. They are curious and don't know how to approach us. Make yourself approachable. Yes, even if they ask you the same age old questions and make the same age old remarks. We all know them all but they don't. Be patient. I know it is easier said than done, believe me!

With all that being said, here are some silly photos I have taken over the past few months while on the job:








2 comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...