The Summer Internship:
The first summer after graduating High School I worked as a summer intern at the same engineering firm as my father. This was definitely a step up from the previous summer job working the burger board at the local Burger King.
The Burger King dress code consisted of a dark chocolate-brown polyester smock, trimmed in Halloween orange, matching polyester slacks, suede dress shoes, and a brown and orange baseball cap. Burger King enforced a mandatory uniform policy and that summer I understood the importance of wearing it. It gained the customer’s trust and made the business look more professional.
One night at the dinner table my father told us that the company was introducing “Casual Fridays”. My father felt that this was the beginning to the end and refused to follow company policy. Those who reported to him were not allowed to “dress down” . My father’s refusal to follow company policy instilled in me to dress to match the occasion.
The Comfortable Society
People dress to be comfortable. I sat in one of the office buildings uptown several weeks back and observed crowds of people entering and exiting the main lobby. Most I observed were dressed in jeans, khakis,no tie, and sneakers. Not all jobs require employees to wear suits or dresses I realize that. It is important to dress the part you want to play. Over the years I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for various jobs in the hospitality industry. Through that experience I have had candidates show up for interviews with no tie, wrinkled shirt and pants, shorts, or even jeans.
Dressing to impress does not have to be difficult or expensive. Take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and see what story your clothing is telling about you. Life lessons we bring from our past. For that, I am truly fortunate to have the father that I had. He taught me how to be the person I am today.