Does how you dress affect your career?

You may think that standing out from the crowd makes you seem special. It might, at that. Being different—in your dress and appearance—could derail your aspirations, however.

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Years ago I worked on the shop floor of a manufacturing plant.

I had worked my way through college at another plant, so I definitely identified more with the hourly workers than with the “suits”—even though most of the guys referred to me as “college boy.”

One day the department manager stopped by. He asked about my background. He asked about my education. He asked about my career aspirations.

“I’d like to be a supervisor,” I answered, “and then someday I’d like your job.”

He smiled and said: “Good for you. I like a guy with dreams.” Then he paused. “But if that’s what you really want,” he said, looking me in the eyes, “first you need to start looking the part.”I knew what he was saying, but I decided to play dumb. “What do you mean?” I asked.

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