Growing up, when I heard “dress for the job you want,” I thought they meant everybody should aspire to wear suits and ties. After all, that’s what the supposedly powerful executives have, right?
Nope. It means that if you don’t want a suit job, don’t wear a suit.
It took me years to realize that I wanted to be surrounded by coworkers I like and respect. People who accept their coworkers for who they are – regardless of clothes, college diploma, car/motorcycle/bike, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
I’d long figured it out by the time Jeremiah, Kendra, and I started our company, but still, we were a little bit worried about image. Would people really want to hire tattooed database experts? Turns out they do.
Sure, we miss out on gigs where guys are told to wear Rolexes and women told to wear skirts. But then again, those don’t sound like a lot of fun – and we’re all about balancing work with fun.
You don’t have to sell your soul to have a job you love. Come to terms with who you are, and then dress for the job you want. When you attend user groups, do presentations, or just network with job prospects, wear exactly what you want to wear to work. (And if you want to work in a suit, that’s completely okay too! Just know that if you’re not a suit person, there’s still jobs out there for the real you.)