Dressed for suc­cess

The Advertiser - Careers - - Teaching, University & Higher Education -

EM­PLOY­EES who im­press through their ap­pear­ance and be­hav­iour are most likely to suc­ceed with a busi­ness by re­ceiv­ing pro­mo­tion and pay rises, an eti­quette ex­pert says.

The Good Man­ners Com­pany prin­ci­pal Anna Mus­son works with em­ploy­ers who want to im­prove the so­cial skills of staff to give them an edge over ri­vals.

But she says too of­ten em­ploy­ers re­cruit a worker who has ques­tion­able stan­dards in the hope that they can be im­proved.

‘‘What they do once they’re in a job is they tend to de­cline,’’ Ms Mus­son says.

‘‘If the very best they can show at an in­ter­view is poor at­tire and poor attitude then they’re in for a sorry fu­ture.’’

She says it of­ten is a prob­lem when older em­ploy­ees look to hand over busi­ness and clients to younger staff.

She tells of one se­nior em­ployee, who by­passed four very ca­pa­ble ju­nior em­ploy­ees and handed a key client to the fifth in line be­cause he had a much smarter ap­pear­ance that would ap­peal to that client.

‘‘There is an ex­pec­ta­tion of your im­age and your attitude if you want to suc­ceed,’’ she says.

‘‘I don’t know why peo­ple think that they can get away with any­thing. A poor habit that many Aus­tralians have adopted is to try to get away with the bare min­i­mum – how ca­su­ally can I dress, how ca­su­ally can I be­have? – with­out step­ping out of their com­fort zone.’’

She be­lieves part of the prob­lem may be a can­di­date short­age in some ar­eas, which causes some job hun­ters to think they can do what they like when ap­ply­ing for work and still get the job.

But she says the tide is turn­ing, with calls from many em­ploy­ers for im­proved stan­dards.

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