There are two friends that started, PayU, a technology company. Mike is a tech savvy, while the other, John, a marketing expert. He could convince any investor to spend their last kobo on the young venture. They had been looking for a foreign investor that will pump in more money for five years so that they can expand PayU. Finally, they got Alpha Corners, an investment company based in the Europe and they called for a meeting to understand their business model.
John wow the investor about the prospect of the business and it seems they will go home smiling. One of the panelist, just asked a technical question about which API application the company uses? John could not fathom the answer and needed Mike to assist him. While he was about to stand up to answer the question, the same panelist raised an observation, is that your other partner? Mike in his usual mode of dressing, wore a jean, and t shirt. Mike answered that it uses open API and listed its benefits.
The investors were happy but they one of them, Paul confessed that he thought Mike was John’s driver when he first came in. Paul said he could not have imagined Mike as the co-founder. You can be the best but not dress as the best, what this will do is to impair how other perceive you. In this article, you will be taken on a long ride to how to dress for different occasions without comprising budget.
The first thing you need to understand is what is the occasion about? Answering this question will determine your style of dressing. For instance if it is a tech meet-up and you are dressed up in suit and tie, you might end up looking as if you missed your way: everyone will be different from you. Techies prefer to be simple – a jean and shirt is cool by them. You must also know that understanding what the occasion is about will help you in your colour combination. If it is a valentine event and you are dressed in blue, you will look totally misplaced.
Furthermore, the people coming for a programme will determine how you dress. There is a tweak to the example of the tech event early mentioned. For instance, if investors will be attending, then you need to re-think your outfit. You might not necessarily have to wear suit, but you can wear your blazers on your shirt with probably a jean trouser, this looks in-between. You can easily flow with the techies as well as the financiers. Makes sense, is it?
In the story of PayU narrated earlier, John dressed in radiating suit because he needed to get the investors in. What you want from a meeting should influence your dressing. A friend narrated how he was rejected several times by the security men from seeing the sales manager of a company until he was advised by a colleague to dress as if you wants to buy the company. Funny right? He went to the same company dressed in Paul Smith’s suit with a well-positioned tie and an Italian shoe. He was not just directed to the sales manager, he was constantly addressed with ‘sir’.
Lastly, when you dress for any occasion, evaluate what you want others to remember you for. As little as not wearing a tie could mean in a business conference, you could be the only one not wearing one which they will perceived as being nonchalant. Little things does matter. Human Resources Managers will appraise how you dress for an interview, they are only trying to understand your personality from your appearance. It will be regretful to miss an opportunity just because you wore the wrong outfit. John would have utterly blamed Mike if they lost the investor based on his dressing.
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