My first job out of college I was given the opportunity to work with a wardrobe designer. Little did I know he would become my first true mentor, not only in clothing but in life. I had worked my way through college in other fields where I bonded more with the hourly workers than the “fashionistas.”
The day of my interview I sat down with Rod Alan Baker, the designer himself. He asked me about my interests. He asked me about my goals. He asked me about my expectations for my career.
“I told him I’d like to be a manager and use my design and marketing talent to grow his company, rod alan.”
He laughed and said, “That’s excellent, good for you.” There was a long pause that came after.
“If you inspire to be a leader, he said focused in, “first you need to dress and communicate the part.”
I briefly understood, but asked, “What do you mean?”
“When someone looks at you for the first time what is the message you want to communicate? Are you communicating that you’re a leader in what you’re wearing today? Your clothing truly speaks long before you do, he said.”
I thought for a moment, but he was definitely right. I was wearing jeans, with what I thought to be a nice button-down shirt. “Shouldn’t how well I execute my job matter more than how I look?”, I asked.
“That’s not totally incorrect he said, but it matters if you can’t even get in the door for the opportunity.” If you want to be in a leadership role no matter where you are or when… you need to communicate a leader to everyone through your dress, so others interpret that message as so.”
I’ve thought about that conversation I had with Rod a lot over the time I’ve been at rod alan.
I’ve accomplished a lot, helped be part of the team that has helped grow the company to areas Rod has always dreamed of. How I looked, had nothing to do with my talent or skill set for the job.
Still, he was right. People assume things at first glance and make assumptions upon who you are, especially based on your clothing. This has no bearing on the performance level but still, it matters.
So with everything said, it’s not about conforming, but learning how to communicate effectively with people who are all wired differently (personality types).
People are most comfortable with the familiar. They will gravitate to others who are similar and much like themselves. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far.
That’s the secret! Learn how to communicate your message accurately to all personality types no matter the circumstance so, in the result you build relationships that truly make a difference.
And don’t forget this lesson doesn’t just affect your clothing, but all other aspects that make up your lifestyle. “You never know when you are going to meet that one person who can change your life forever.” – Rod Alan Baker……So be ready.
Learn how dressing truly brings your image to life and answers the universal question we all face every day, What in the world am I going to wear?
Extraordinarily You From The Inside Out, is a powerful read that will accelerate your confidence and bring your image to life.” – Todd Duncan -New York Times Best-Selling Author