It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
True, but we’re also human and being human makes us unavoidably prone to making judgments. In the end, it’s an efficiency thing—we have to make decisions about whom to trust or not, whether to spend time with certain people or not—and that often must happen quickly based on the factors that are easiest to discern.
The point is that it’s the form and the substance that comprises the full picture. Our personal brands are layered, starting with the outside and moving in from there. Your external self—how you look, sound, and “come across” to others—is more important than most of us realize or frankly want to face. Most of us believe that who we are on in the inside will determine our success, that the outside stuff shouldn’t matter and people should judge us for whether we’re nice or smart or creative. Yet, the unavoidable reality, the cold hard truth, is that how you look, sound, and “feel” (more figuratively than literally) matters...a whole hell of a lot. It influences every last interaction we have—big and small, significant and irrelevant, and everything in between.
At work, our personal brand impacts whether we’re included in the room and not, whether we’re a part of key decisions or not. Those kinds of dynamics ultimately affect your position in the organization, your career advancement, and even your compensation. Over the long haul, you might look around and think, why did he or she get that job and I didn’t? Why did they get invited to that meeting or event and I was overlooked when I know I’m smarter, working harder, and can add more value? There’s a myriad of things that play into all of that, and definitely not just your appearance or what you’re wearing. However, it’s unavoidably a key ingredient of who you are, your credibility, and how others will interact with you.
Without a doubt, your “packaging” is unavoidably one of the most important factors that can make or break your career. As such, it warrants the same amount of attention as your education and your deliverables to bring to life and round out the incredible talent that you are. So where do you begin? How do you figure out what to wear and how to stand out in executive meetings and interviews and your day-to-day interactions?
We think the best place to start is right here. :)
Fashion@Work is a career girl’s guide to creating a personal brand. It’s jam-packed with advice on what to do and avoid in building your best self—both on the inside and outside—in a way that will get you noticed (in a good way) and keep you comfortable in your own skin. It provides specific actions every woman can take to complement their great skills to ensure they capitalize on their hard work with all the key ingredients needed to be included and heard.
The ultimate goal of Fashion@Work is to help working women realize that nailing your personal brand opens up a world of opportunity that might otherwise elude you. Maximizing all of this is that big of a deal—it can uncover powers you didn't know you had, turbo-charging everything else that's great about you and helping others see it. We believe that figuring this out for yourself can be utterly life-changing.
Not to mention…this fashion stuff can be a lot of fun—at least we think it is—and boy did we have fun making Fashion@Work. From the honest and heartwarming stories from some of our favorite working women to the GORGEOUS art from the amazingly talented Danielle Rose Fisher, we made this book with a whole lot of love. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did creating it.