How To Navigate The Nuances Of Office Dress Codes

The image most frequently associated with employees from accounting firms and other jobs within the financial district is rigidly formal; if one is to work in finance, then suits and suchlike business attire is called for, according to this common perception. And yet, more and more firms are beginning to slowly defy this notion by introducing new dress policies which seek more informal approaches to employee attire.

Indeed, khakis, jeans, rolled up sleeves, and polos are more fashionable than they have ever been in the world of big business. Even contemporary Hollywood representations of the executive figure consistently involve a quirky, down-to-earth personality replete with sneakers and a t-shirt – gone are the days of the prototypical leader. It goes without saying that “casual Friday” is now an everyday occurrence for some firms.

Many companies have even opted to abandon dress codes entirely, letting employees rightly decide how they feel comfortable dressing (within reason, of course). With developments like this, a more welcoming atmosphere is being cultivated, which is also to say that becoming anti-dress code is, perhaps an exercise in team-building.

This is, no doubt, revolutionary when it comes to the ethos of recruiting and, in a sense, changes the nature of the job hunt; while statistical research can still be undertaken by perusing the web (you can, for example, visit the IQ Partners Blog or a similarly useful website with insightful tips on the nuances of headhunting), it is clear interviewers have different expectations for interviewees than they once did. Indeed, one is expected, in recent years, to be able to let loose in certain ways. With this in mind, it’s important to be attentive to the nuances of this new era of business conduct; here are a few tips pertaining to dress codes.

The Management Ought To Determine The Tone 

If you are unsure about how to dress prior to your interview, perhaps do some experiential research by visiting the place of business and interacting with employees; let these pre-established guidelines wash over you, but keep in mind that it is, nevertheless, an interview for which you are preparing. Dressing appropriately is therefore the key to success. By no means should you scrap the idea of a dress code, but instead, show that you can be enthusiastic about the alternative guidelines the company has chosen to follow.

Pay Close Attention To Your Surroundings 

Be sure that, once you’re there, that this company really is a right fit for you. If they are too open about dress codes and other aspects of working life, it may make you uncomfortable at first. If this is something that will negatively impact your performance, simply go through with the interview, but accept that the job may not be the right fit for you, anyway.

Go Slow

 Do not go overboard when it comes to showing off your personality, particularly if this is your first meeting. It’s necessary to show a balance of diligence and quirk, lest you come off as a potentially irresponsible or too spirited to take the work seriously.

Indeed, office culture is going through a bewildering transition in our current moment, and this sense of confusion is all the more apparent when one is a potential employee. It is helpful, then, to keep an open mind, but not to the detriment of one’s capacities as a worker who takes their job seriously.