So you are a new employee in a new workplace, or you have decided for 2015 that you want a promotion. Where to start?
Many offices, especially medium to large business and corporations, can feel very similar to high school with cliques and groups, friends and enemies. People to know and people to avoid. It can be very political.
And like high school you essentially need to fit in with the group you want to “hang with” in order to be appreciated or get ahead! Bosses and your colleagues are only people after all.. They don’t leave their personalities at the door when they come into work. So there will be people they like and people they don’t. Its simple.. whether conscious or subconscious, if you are more like them they will like you better.
So tip #1 from the officesecretsblog is – join the corporate family.
If you want to fit in with your current team, get ahead at work, or get promoted you need to dress the part. Looks are everything. The first impression someone will make of you is visual… most people will make a decision about you before you open your mouth! So its important to dress appropriately. Match your clothing to your colleagues but also look at your boss and people at that level in your organization, as well as to people in any roles you are aiming toward.
If in doubt, its safer to dress a little better than them but try not to be overdressed. And don’t forget to look at hairstyles, nails, accessories and shoes – and even brands of clothing if you can subtly look or even ask casually in conversation. When you look the same as them then you fit in better and they can imagine you in the role you are applying for.
In terms of colours of clothing, generally you can match what your office wears however you may also want to use a little colour psychology to give you an edge. Colours influence how people think about things and so use them to your advantage. Match the colour to the way you want your audience to feel.
Black is the colour of authority and power. Black also implies submission. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. But pair them with a touch of colour (below) to offset the effect. Dark grey is professional with authority whereas lighter greys imply neutrality.
Clean, professional and light but can imply sterility (as in hospitals).
Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear powerful and assertive. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations.
Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty, trust and credibility. Mid tone blues are friendly and approachable. Blue-green is a good business color for women to wear, it suggests high self esteem and confidence, yet is still friendly and approachable. Can be considered conservative. Dark blue is professional with authority.
Green is generally dependable. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. Mid-tone greens are friendly and approachable.
Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, can be overpowering if overused.
Purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However purple can appear artificial. Magenta will shock and inspire your audience.
Solid and reliable. Light brown implies genuineness. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Tan is friendly and approachable. Beige makes you appear neutral.
Next part of my blog on fitting in – how to talk the talk.