Do you know anyone like this at work? I’m sure you do.
My most hated object in the office is the printer. They never seem to be working, always print things incorrectly and just generally drive me up the wall. I found a video on Youtube that made me think that perhaps I am going about printing my documents all wrong.
Watch this video if you have ever experienced some printing problems. It might just make your day…
What you wear to work says a lot about who you are. In this post I want to psychoanalyze the heck out of the topic and see if we can learn a little bit about what your work clothes say about you.
The Power Suit
The power suit was popularized by Ralph Lauren and is all about wearing a suit that makes you look powerful without even having to open your mouth. It is somewhat intimidating – sharp edges, broad shoulders, etc. It is worn when working in a corporate environment, when meeting with powerful clients or when meeting the competition. It is also supposed to have an internal effect by making you feel more powerful than you really are. It is a psychological tool.
What does it say about you?
If you wear a power suit to work it might indicate one of many things. Here are some common thoughts:
- Seriousness: a power suit is said to be a sign of seriousness. It shows that you are ready for business, you are focussed and you are in the zone.
- Trustworthiness: my father always says that you should wear a nice suit when meeting with clients because it conveys a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness. Especially if you are dealing with people’s money, a power suit can speak volumes.
- Wealth: leading on from the previous point a power suit also often indicates wealth. Or, it might indicate that you want to look wealthy.
- Insecurity: some people think that a power suit is an insecure modern day suit of armor. I have heard professionals state that there is no need to look sharp and powerful on the outside if you are truly that on the inside. Some people see them as fake.
- Arrogance: the power suit is often said to be worn only by arrogant people who think they are better than the rest of us. Perhaps a little harsh but I’m trying to include it all.
The important thing about the power suit is that it has a time and a place. If you are someone who works in a social work area there is no point meeting somebody you are about to help all decked out in an intimidating suit. Make sure you choose your moments.
Open Shirt Smart Casual
Open Shirt Smart Casual is the best way I could think to describe the style of dress that is not power suit serious and not “at home” casual. Quite often people who dress like this wear some slacks and and shirt with the top two buttons open and no tie. They might even wear jeans. They often wear brown shoes instead of shiny black ones.
What does this say about you?
If this is more your style than the power suit then have a read and see what it is supposed to say about you:
- Relaxed: it seems to be that people who dress like this are more relaxed about their job and approach it in an easy going manner.
- Friendly: people are much more approachable when they are dressed like this as it does not give off an aggressive vibe like the power suit.
- Slower: I always get the feeling that people who dress like this are more “paced” as opposed to the power suit types who rush about like there is no tomorrow from one deal to the next.
Again, you have to pick your moments for this style of dress but in many circumstances I feel it is better to dress like this than in a sharp suit. Quite often it is easier to relate to clients when you are more approachable and less “business man/woman”. People are less intimidated and more open to asking questions and speaking honestly.
T Shirt Casual
Finally we have the casual that is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the power suit. It is jeans, t shirts and maybe some sneakers.
What does this say about you?
Here are some basic things that people infer about you when you dress casual at work:
- Lazy: my father always says that it makes people think that you are lazy. Simply couldn’t be bothered preparing for work
- Untrustworthy: again, if you are dressed in casual at work it might indicate that you are untrustworthy because you don’t care about looking good for work. Why would other people trust you with their business and money if you can’t even take care of your appearance?
- Lack of Company Pride: dressing casual, in many workplaces, is seen as disrespectful as you are not too worried about how the firm is being portrayed
- Easy Going: someone who dresses casual is also seen as easy going and more approachable. You might be more willing to ask this person a question or enquire about a deal.
The Most Important Factor: HOW You Wear It
After looking at all of this we need to remember that the most important factor is how you wear it. You could be dressed in a $10,000 Armani suit but if you haven’t shaved, brushed your hair or put on deodorant you are not going to be perceived the way you want.
Likewise, you can dress is smart casual or even casual and give the impression of being trustworthy, accountable and very professional. It all depends on how you carry yourself, speak and of course how much attention you pay to the little details.
Tips for Dressing Well at Work
I want to end this post by looking at some tips for dressing well at work. If you have any other please add them in the comments.
- Shave everyday
- Get regular haircuts
- Iron well
- Dress only in clothes you feel comfortable in
- Go for softer colors like charcoal, dark blue and grey instead of black (leave black for funerals and black tie events)
- Make sure shoes, tie, clothes and watch all work together
- Remember that your appearance tells people something about you and something about your company
Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Myspace… the list is endless. Millions of us are addicted. The Government tells us that our time wasting internet addictions are costing the country billions of dollars every year. Our productivity at work is dismal because we spend most of the day reading our Fun Wall or checking out our favorite blogs. Can this additive behavior be beaten?
The answer is yes.
In this article I want to give you some simple and concrete ways to beat your time wasting internet addiction.
Facebook Syndrome: How to tell if you are an internet addict
Before we start you need to find out if you are an addict. Once you have admitted to yourself that you are addicted to your favorite website we can go about giving you some solutions for that problem. Here are some surefire signs that you are addicted:
1. You are late for meetings because you are on Facebook
If you ever late for a meeting or an appointment because you were checking your updates on Facebook or watching a related video on Youtube then you know you are addicted. This is classic addict behavior. It is time to get help.
2. You think about it when you are offline
I have several friends who struggle to get to sleep because they are thinking about the latest game or wondering how their website statistics are looking. If you do this then it could be a sign that you are heading towards a problem.
3. Your friends and family comment on your excessive internet use
When other people around you start to notice that you have a problem it is generally a pretty accurate indicator that you are losing it. If your mates, coworkers or family members have made comments about how much you use the net then you need to read the rest of this post.
4. You check your accounts from your Blackberry
A Blackberry is designed as a business tool. It is supposed to allow you to check your important emails and work materials without having to be in the office. It is not for checking Facebook or Myspace updates while you are having dinner with me. That is just not on. If you use your Blackberry for monitoring your social media accounts then you need help.
5. You get stressed when a Facebook “friend” doesn’t add you
Have you ever noticed yourself getting stressed over something that has happened on Facebook or Myspace? Do you ever feel like your online life is more real than your offline life? If you have been stressed about what rapper you turned out as or what magic egg someone sent you then it is time to open your eyes.
How to easily beat time wasting internet addictions
Now that you have established that you have a problem you need to get yourself some recovery tools. The strategies and tools that are presented here are some simple ways you can beat the Facebook Syndrome.
1. Admit that you have a problem
I want you to take a deep breath and then repeat after me. Seriously, repeat this out a loud – even if you are in your office or an internet cafe.
“I have an internet addiction problem.”
Good. Now that you have acknowledged your problem we can proceed. There is no point in trying to beat an addiction if you do not seriously believe that you have one. This is important.
2. Write down exactly how much time you spend on each site
This task is more difficult than you might think. Usually we have a work window open, a Facebook window open and then maybe some windows with our favorite blogs waiting for them to update. What you need to do is close the windows and only open them once you have written down the time. Then when you close the window you need to write the time down again. At the end of the day add up how much time you have been on your chosen site and record it in a little book.
The reason it is important to know how long you have been on the sites is because it gives you a solid measure of how bad your addiction is. Recovering gamblers do the same thing. They write down how much money they spend in a day. We need to write down our Facebook hours!
After a few days, weeks and months this number should decrease. [Read more…] about Facebook Syndrome: 8 Ways to Beat Your Facebook Addiction
Last week we showed you some of history’s greatest speakers and the techniques they used to deliver their marvelous oral discourses. In this post I want to quickly show you some things NOT to do in a speech.
1. George Bush – Don’t take questions if you don’t know your material
George Bush is renowned for being a very poor public speaker. Quite often he is put on the spot with a penetrating question and he struggles to formulate a good response. Take a look at this video where Bush is asked a pretty simple question.
It is really important to know your industry top to bottom if you want to look professional. If you don’t know your material then don’t put yourself in a position where you will be put on the spot.
2. Don McMillan – What NOT to do on Powerpoint
We all know those corporate Powerpoint presentations that make you go to sleep. Comedian Don McMillan takes a look at what NOT to do with Powerpoint. Take special notice of the first point he raises – it is hilarious!
3. George Bush – Pick your occasion
On Veteran’s Day George Bush gave an angry, partisan and very inappropriate speech. It is important to make sure the occasion is right for your message. Do not isolate people in the audience with your speech – instead try to appeal to everyone.
Can anyone think of any other speeches that just made you cringe?
Mrs Daily Minder has a dilemma. She is currently being offered two jobs and doesn’t know which one to take. We have been talking about it for days and still haven’t come to a solution so I thought I would write about it and see if we can come up with a clear process for figuring out when to change jobs.
I would love your suggestions, help and words of wisdom too.
How do you know when to change jobs?
Here is the scenario: A competitor firm is offering her a new job with some nice little bonuses. Her current job found out about this and is offering her more hours and a better deal to encourage her to stay. She has no idea which one to take. Here are some issues we have looked at:
1. Are you happy at your current workplace?
If you are not happy at your workplace and you have tried making friends, meditating at work, becoming more mindful, de-stressing and so on and still haven’t had any luck then perhaps it is time to change jobs. Regardless of how much money you are being paid, if you are not happy your life will be miserable. This is the most important question to ask yourself when deciding if you should change jobs.
2. What are your short and long term goals?
It is important to sit down and establish what your short and long term goals are. If you do not have any goals it will be too easy to float around with no real direction. However, once you write down some concrete goals you will have more of a “guide” as to which option will be better for you.
For example, if you long term goal is to earn enough money to buy a house then you should go with the job offering more money. On the other hand, if your long term goal is in a completely different area then you should take the job that offers the best deal in the short term.
Make sure your goals are in your mind when you make a job changing decision.
3. What is your gut telling you?
A dear friend of mine told me that the best piece of advice he had was to always trust your gut. I think this is very good advice. Sometimes we might be seduced by a financial incentive or we might be tempted by the allure of a new and exciting job. However, take some time to listen to what your gut is telling you. 90% of the time you know what is best for you – despite what the money is whispering in your ear.
4. Have you done a PRO and CON list?
Something my father always used to do before a big business decision was write down a PRO and CON list or a cost-benefit analysis. Sometimes this would be two manila folders, sometimes it would be a napkin on the kitchen bench. I quite like this approach as it is very systematic and allows you to look at the options visually. We are very visual creatures and writing things down on paper in two neat columns labeled GOOD and BAD is a great way to gain some perspective.
The problem with this (according to my father) is that it is very difficult to assign some “weight” to each PRO or CON. For example, job no.1 might offer you a great car park while job no.2 might offer you a great desk and a Christmas bonus. How do you establish which option is better? Do you do it financially by working out how much a year the car park saves you in parking costs and whether that is equal to the Christmas bonus the other guys are offering? Or, do you just go with the quantity of PROs in the column?
This is tricky.
5. Have you talked to other people?
Sometimes talking to people who already work at the place you might be going is a good idea. I just got a phone call from the Missus and she told me that she went to talk to someone who used to work at the place. They went out for a coffee and talked about all the good and bad elements of the firm. This seems to have given her some new perspective.
However, the downside to talking to other people is that you often get a lot of emotional opinion instead of facts. People’s views are swayed by their experiences and if the person had a bad experience with a manager or another staff member they might paint the firm in a bad light. Be careful of who you talk to and how much import you attach to their opinion.
6. Have you looked at the “external” factors?
Something that you need to look at are the factors that aren’t directly related to the job but will be affected if you change workplaces. For example, if you change from a 9 to 5 job to one that includes night shifts will you still be able to take the kids to work the next morning? These kinds of factors are affected when you change jobs and as such you should make sure you address them before you make the move.
Other tips and advice for changing jobs?
Now I would like to open up the comments to you all. Please share with us your experiences and stories about changing jobs. What made you leave? What did you regret? What advice do you have? Let’s see if we can compile a list of tips in the comments that might really help someone who encounters this post.