I can dress. I know this. You know this. It’s a thing.
The beautiful part of it is that my style is versatile. Business professional dress, while I am always looking to learn more, is something that I do well. Business casual is something that I do well and have fun with. Casual is cool too but it’s always risky (which is actually fun to see what I can and cannot get away with).
Some people only know how to dress one way and, while that one way works in some settings, it’s certainly not preferable in all settings. Actually, if I walked into a family fun day event on a Saturday in a slacks and a shirt, I’d be counter-cultural here.
Depending on who I’m meeting with or the type of event I’m attending, over dressing could actually kill my chances of developing relationships. Adaptation is key not only to one’s success but key to their ability to move in and out settings while making everyone around them comfortable.
Having worked in every field from financial advising to roadside produce sales (a.k.a. a food stand) to sports marketing to higher education to my current role in an independent school, I’ve had the opportunity to further develop my professional style, both of dress and personality. I cannot always solicit funds at my current school in the same manner that I did while working at a top tier school of law. For me, it’s not just about adjusting my style of dress but also the fundraising techniques I employ. It is critical that you know the culture of the organization you’re in.
The more adaptable your style and personality, the more opportunities will come your way. It’s basic logic.
Come back tomorrow for part two.
Make professional development a priority.