Last week I did my first adult thing… I went to a professional conference ALONE. If any of you follow my tweets, you’ll know that I was incredibly nervous about venturing out alone and schmoozing.
Well, I survived. And as dumb as it sounds – I feel more grown up.
I took a workshop titled, “The Power to Persuade and Influence without Authority”. While it sounds a wee bit corny – I actually learned a lot.
One of the things that stood out to me was the idea of conveying a perceived authority. The quickest way to do this is by your clothing since a first impression is important. This includes:
- Name brands – people look at logos! And apparently the fancier and well-known a label/logo, the more important you appear.
- Neat appearance – ironed, lint-free, well-coordinated clothing
- Shoes – polished and professional
This idea isn’t exactly ground-breaking. We judge people all the time! You don’t? Okay, I do!
I work in an environment that is “business casual”. And some people take the casual part very seriously. I have let my work clothes go and have summed up my look as “soccer mom”. I wear a lot of khakis and flats.
However, this course just reiterated that old adage that you should dress for the job you want and not necessarily the one you have. I think if I want to be taken more seriously or at least have a chance to climb up the corporate ladder — I need to step up my game.
I need a serious overhaul of shoes. I’m a total klutz and a lot of my shoes are really scuffed. However, I don’t wear leather. Can I tell you how hard it is to find cute, professional shoes that aren’t made of leather? The one I’m struggling the most with is a pair of nude leather pumps!
I want these… in a NON-leather material:
I feel like I’m chasing after a damn unicorn or something. I found some camel/nude color kitten heels at Target. They looked nice online but cheap and flimsy in person. Ugh.
I also decided to use one of my more structured bags to carry my work crap in (planner, folders, etc.). It is an old Coach tote (before I decided to nix leather) and since brands carry a lot of weight – I figured it couldn’t hurt. Despite the Coach bag being a little stained and scuffed, I am always peppered with compliments anytime I break it out. This probably just reiterates the fact that people notice brands.
I made a shift today into a more professional outfit and was instantly asked if I was interviewing for a new position today. Good sign?
We’ll see. And now I have another reason to shop! I’m looking for new shoes and a nice trenchcoat. Any suggestions of where I can find a not crazy expensive but still nice trench?