As a professional, we often make a lot of important decisions in our career; which company to go, what job to take, who to trust in the workplace, what correct action for the business problem to take. Undeniable these big decisions are critical, but sometimes we don’t notice that even the most mundane decisions can make a big impact in our career, one of which happens right infront of your closet: deciding what to wear for the day. A popular quote suggests: “Dress for the job you want and not the one you have.”

To dress for the job you want means to acknowledge your goal in your career and dress accordingly. Just as vague as the quote, it is open to numerous interpretations because it involves two factors: the goal, and dressing accordingly. It all starts with knowing yourself well: what is your ultimate goal? Who do you want to be? What do you need to go through to achieve this goal? After acknowledging your aspirations, you  create the strategies of preparing your outfits for your possible milestones.

Following the quote affects the professional both internally and externally. First, as you internalize, you somehow create a direction in your life. In addition to that is that when you look beyond your best, you feel the same. Second, the way you dress affects how others perceive you. The art of dressing may involve semiotics (the study of signs and symbols), so people will take your outfit as how you communicate yourself to them.

QC Australia however suggests ways to do so:

Dress to Impress

Dressing up is a statement; it’s a way of communicating yourself to others. Whether you want to be respected, feared, or look approachable may depend on how you present yourself. For job seekers, it helps to dress-up as if you already got the job so that HR managers could already see yourself doing the role (of course, along side doing well in your interviews).

Differentiate Yourself Inside and Outside of Work

Do you dress-up at work as if you go to the mall? This can be a sign that you are slacking off as you don’t look at your work as a special occasion. Making your workwear a notch higher will help you feel your work important. Levelling up doesn’t necessarily mean getting a whole new set of wardrobe; a different set of shoes, bottoms, and some accessories can be your go-to for this.

Mimic and Recreate an Idol

Mentors and idols greatly influence your career goals. We look up to them for a reason; that someday, we can be like them, adapt their knowledge, ideals and follow their path to success. Making them your fashion inspiration, while adding your personal touch, can help you achieve that. Your idols can range from your bosses, to the most well-known leaders. Do your supervisors often wear neckties? Do you like Mark Zuckerber’s way of leadership as well as his turtlenecks?

So why dress for the job you want and not the one you have? Because dressing up is a way to help you focus on your dreams and aspirations that ultimately affects how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you. It is a strategic way of changing how others think of you and can create a habit of always looking and feeling at your best.