Info & Advice - Attire, Conduct & The Workplace
 
What Not To Wear

Decode your office dress code by avoiding these Don’ts.

 

Office dress codes are rarely written out in an easy to follow straightforward guide to work attire.  The number one rule of dressing for success is to dress for the position you want, not the one you have.  Your boss wouldn’t be caught dead in these inappropriate looks, and you shouldn’t either.

 

Flip Flops It doesn’t matter if they’re decked out with rhinestones or paired with a cute skirt, flip flops are not appropriate office clothing unless you happen to be a lifeguard. 

 

Tight or Overly Loose Clothing Tight clothing is not only suggestive, it just feels terribly uncomfortable, even to the viewer.  Too loose clothing makes you appear sloppy.  The correct fit for work fashions walks a fine line, and that line is called your size. 

 

Sneakers Nope, not even on casual Fridays.  While you’re at it, skip the sky high heels (cap it at 3” ladies), scuffed up loafers (yes guys, you actually have to take care of your shoes), platform pumps (you know, the one’s you affectionately call your “stripper shoes”), and “mandals”. 

 

T&A (Figure it out…) – Ladies and gentlemen, save these for your significant other.  Invest in a belt and save the low cut shirts for ladies night out.  Appropriate men’s wear and women’s wear do not include peeks of your birthday suit. 

 

Exercise Clothing When they said wear a suit, they did not mean a track suit.  If it’s made of fleece, mesh or spandex, labeled as a “wicking” material, or adorned with racing stripes, then it’s out. 

 

Bare Shoulders No one cares what the temperature is outside.  Bare shoulders are not acceptable work fashion, and they inevitably lead to bare armpits.  Gross. 

 

Worn, Torn and Outdated Faded, torn, bleach-stained and paint-stained clothing may have been the Abercrombie endorsed look that got you voted best dressed in your frat house, but it’s likely to get you voted first on the chopping block in the office.  Do yourself (and the rest of the world) a favor and toss anything reminiscent of the past decade’s grunge revival. 

 

While this is hardly an exhaustive list, using your best judgment should steer you right.  So think, and know that if you’re even wondering if something is appropriate work attire,  it’s probably not. 

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By stacymorgan

Yes, There Is Office Restroom Etiquette

Using proper Restroom Etiquette to avoid defiling your reputation.

 

The office restroom is not a magical place free from social graces.  Office politics dictate that you exercise proper office restroom etiquette, or face the wrath of co workers or giggling behind your back. 

 

General Office Restroom Etiquette Remember those cute little bathroom phrases from your youth?  They still ring true.  “If you sprinkle when you tinkle please be neat and clean the seat”.  “We aim to please, so please aim”.  Hopefully, as a grown adult with a real job, you don’t need to be reminded of these.  Less obvious but still important is keeping your grooming habits to yourself.  If you absolutely must floss your teeth after lunch, do it in the stall with a pocket mirror, and then next time skip the poppy seed bagel.  Clothes readjustments also belong in the stall.

 

PC TP Usage Remember, if you kill the roll you fill the roll.  Don’t leave the next person stranded, they likely saw you exit the stall and know where your cubicle is.  Unwrapping a new roll and leaving it on the back of the can does not count as a refill.  Also, be sure to flush every piece of toilet paper you throw in the toilet.

 

Men’s Room Etiquette Also, the crackdown on excessive use of office supplies does not apply to the restroom spray at work; use the TP.  And while you’re at it, a courtesy flush wouldn’t hurt either. 

 

Ladies’ Room Etiquette Let’s get this uncomfortable topic out of the way – your lady goods do not belong in plain sight on top of the garbage.  If your office restroom is not equipped with dedicated disposal cans, the creative use of toilet paper can save the next person from the unsightly.  Use spray and try to find a moment alone to take care of less delicate functions.  Hiding in the stall until the restroom empties out doesn’t usually help.  The shoes always can identify, especially those red patent pumps. 

 

Talk If you walk in or meet someone inside, your safest bet is to keep quiet in the stall and at the urinal.  And unless you want your next performance review held in the john, don’t attempt to discuss work-related issues with your boss while they’re taking care of business.  Best policy – while your boss is in the restroom, you’re not.

 

Wash Your Hands Oh, and did I mention, always wash your hands?  Well, always wash your hands.  For obvious reasons of course.  Plus that fact that you’d be surprised how many people pay attention to that little action.

 

So yes, there is office restroom etiquette…and practicing it keeps your reputation intact.  Very important.


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By stacymorgan

Being PC Without Being Boring

You can be PC without everyone dreading conversations with you.  With a bit of preparation and research you can hold your own at the office.

 

Sex, religion, politics, partying and your latest conquests all make for juicy gossip, BUT not at the office.  No one wants to be known as the office gossip-monger or the boor of the group.  You can do a few things each day to insure that your conversations are appropriate and interesting.

 

Tip #1 – One of the best resources for hot topics is at Google’s Hot Topic page.  Topics are ranked by popularity.  You can go there each morning before hitting the road and find what the nation and world are talking about.  Take a few minutes to do some research and you’ll be armed for the day. 

 

Tip #2 – Read the paper.  Good old-fashioned newspapers are a gold mine of information.  They not only give you worldwide and national news, but all the latest about what’s happening locally in your own city of work and residence.  Very important.

 

Tip #3 – Tune into the news as you get ready for work and on the way to the office.  Pay attention to stories that interest you.

 

Tip #4 – Remember that what you talk about to your co-workers is probably not the same conversation you would have with your boss.  Don’t bore you boss with trivia and fun facts.  Your boss is often the bottom line type, and usually doesn’t have time for chit chat. 

 

Tip #5 – Don’t just relay the facts.  Be sincere when you talk about a subject, and that often is helped when you talk about things of actual interest to you.  You don’t want to come off as fake.

 

With all this in mind, don’t spend all day talking.  You after all, still have to get your work done.  But at least when conversation is upon you, you’ve got the current affairs in mind and can steer away from the hot button topics.  And pretty soon, you become a literate, knowledgeable and intelligent conversationalist at work.

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By kathrynpless

Office Party Do's and Don’t's

Office parties can be a source of fun or embarrassment.  It’s okay to have fun, but do it with some rules in mind.

 

Do’s

  • Do be friendly.  See someone you don’t know? Go up and introduce yourself.
  • Do chat with the boss but don’t monopolize their time.  This is your chance for him or her to see you in a social situation. 
  • Do have something to eat.  Graze the buffet or enjoy your meal.  Don’t give anyone the idea that you’re too good to enjoy platter food.  Besides, it’s free!
  • Do bring a small hostess gift if the party is held at someone’s house.  A nice bottle of wine, some flowers or fruit basket is always welcome. 
  • Do have fun, relax and be yourself.  After all, it is a party.

Now for the flip side of the equation, you don’t want to become the talk of the water cooler the next day.

 

Don’t’s

  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that no one is watching.  Believe me, everyone is watching and everyone will remember what goes on.
  • Don’t wear anything skimpy.  This is an office party not a night at the club.  Low cut shirts, skinny mini skirts, fishnet stockings and ridiculously high heels are out of place at an office party.
  • Don’t go too casual.  Don’t be like George on Seinfeld and show up in sweat pants and a tee-shirt. 
  • Don’t forget to eat a snack before you go to the party.  This way you won’t be at the buffet sucking down the last shrimp.
  • Don’t overeat.  Yes, it’s free, but that doesn’t mean your job is to completely pig out.  Besides, remember all the food was portioned so everyone could eat.
  • Don’t get drunk.  This one should be a no-brainer, but you’ve all seen how many people get drunk and ruin their chances to be taken seriously.
  • Don’t show up too early or stay too late.  Arrive a few minutes after the party starts and watch for clues as when to leave.

With these tips in hand you can go to the next office party and be assured that you’ll leave a good impression…rather than motivate the impression that everyone does when you’re not in the room.

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By kathrynpless

What Casual Friday Really Means

Know the difference between casual and sloppy attire at work.

 

Casual Fridays were created to give workers a much needed end of the week break.  But, Casual Friday doesn’t mean sloppy, unprofessional or suggestive dress.

 

Flip-flops are never acceptable office attire no matter how casual your Fridays may be.  Save your sneakers and tennis shoes for the weekend.  Even if you have a pair of $200 Nikes, they should stay home.  Now ladies, Casual Friday is not Friday night at the club.  Leave your sky high stilettos and platforms at home. 

 

Casual Friday is not a license to wear revealing tops or mini-skirts.  You’re still at work so cover yourself up.  No one wants to see bare shoulders, cleavage or underarms.  Well maybe some do, but trust me, that is not the attention you want on the job. 

 

On the flip side, don’t go too casual and show up in a sweatsuit, aka the tracksuit.  Yes, J Lo looks fly in one, but unless you’re making a music video, leave the sweatsuit in the closet.  And that goes double for tracksuits with any big, obvious writing on it.  You know, like that sequined “juicy” across the “T” or “A”.  Big no, no.

 

If you do choose to wear jeans, be sure they are in good shape.  No ripped, stained, wrinkled or bleached jeans at work, please!  Men, seriously… no rips, stains, bleach spots or wrinkles.  It needed to be repeated.  Here too, with the jeans – no big, obvious writing or pictures across the “A”.  Ladies, seriously… nothing on the “A”.  Again, had to be repeated. 

 

Also leave your favorite grungy tee shirt in the drawer.  Yes it got you through second year English Lit, but you’re not in college anymore and its time to dress like an adult. 

 

It’s simple.  Show up for work on Casual Friday in comfortable but neat, clean, well-fitted “dress casual” clothes.  And you’ll be prepared for anything that comes up while looking like the professional you are.

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By kathrynpless

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