Getting Ahead – Dress Well (1)

A few months ago, a client of mine was confiding in me about his Main Contractor who treats him like a contract worker. He gets yelled and talked down in the meeting. As a background, my client is an established architect with over 30 years experience across public and private sectors. It did not make sense with his profile he should be well respected.

As I probed further, he mentions that he usually goes to the meeting with the CEOs immediately after he does his rounds across the project site. Then, both of us realize, that he usually goes to the meeting wearing safety boots, work jacket and smelly. Duh.


Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur or a business owner, managing your image is essential. Your image is the perception of others on yourself. How you dress and present yourself tells a lot about you with especially if it is a first meeting. If you are meeting someone for the first time, the first impression would set the basis for the relationship.

So, dress well means exactly that – dress well. There is simply no excuse for dressing badly, dressing down, dressing dumb, dressing cheaply or dressing carelessly.

I am afraid this rule applies all the time, very important and must be strictly adhered to. There are no days off, no excuses, no letters from your mother letting you off. Dressing well is the most noticeable thing about you. The moment you let down your guard, they will remember you for it.

On the other hand, if you want to remain at your current position, then don’t start. Once you start, there is no stopping. You need to dress well, all the time. No exceptions. So, what does it mean “dressing well”?

Firstly, dress according to the situation. Secondly, for a man, it might mean a suit, collar and tie and polished leather shoes. For a woman, elegant business suit, smart hosiery and court shoes. But this is not a hard and fast rule. You need to be able to gauge what to wear and how you intend to project your image.

My best advise, will be to hire a image specialist. Second option, read up!

My client changed and started dressing well to the meetings. A shirt, blazer, leather shoes. He called me that evening and said “First time, I was not yelled at or even talked down upon!”

Whether it be for business, or for a promotion, dress well. If you want a promotion, then dress well now, not tommorrow!

Published by

Mohd Prasad Hanif

Mohd Prasad offers Business and Leadership Coaching, Training and Consultation for small, medium and large enterprises. Certified as one of the Best Coaches by Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research, Malaysia, Mohd Prasad brings to the table over 6 years over 50 companies with many obtaining 4 star rating by SME Corp of Malaysia. He provides business coaching and development in the areas of Strategic Management, Finance Management, Leadership, Sales and Marketing and Talent Development. He is also the Program Manager for the Bumiputera Vendor Development Program Batch 1 and Batch 2 comprising of 40 bumiputera companies. Mohd Prasad combines the unique experience of an engineer and his experience as a business owner and entrepreneur to formulate Business Engineering Formulas to troubleshoot problem areas to focus in the business.

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