Words of Wisdom: Leggings Are Not Pants

Breanne Tepler

This week I want to give some advice on image. I’m not talking about the Hollywood “Who wore it best?” style judgement. I’m talking about the type of judgement that a potential future boss has when they see you. There are things that some people are very picky about. For example, my former coworker kept nail polish remover in her desk drawer because she felt it was very unprofessional to have chipped nail polish. “It’s better to have no polish than messy chipped polish,” she would say. Then there’s things that the average person would say could possibly ruin your image and your chances at landing or keeping a dream job.

I wish someone had given me some advice about this when I was in college. I remember having to dress up for final presentations in most of my senior classes. I had no clue how to dress professionally. I also didn’t have any idea how my day-to-day attire or actions were being perceived by others. I worked in retail and dressed very casually to school. Hopefully, the following tips will help you tweak your image and set you up for future success!

Leggings are not pants. For real, you guys. Leggings cover your legs and they do a great job of that. However, they do not do a great job of covering anything above your legs. So, if your shirt does not cover you and go down to your legs, you’re going to need some real pants or a longer shirt.

Use earbuds in one ear, not both. Sometimes, I just wanna shut the world out and listen to my music – loud! That’s fine at home or in a coffee shop. However, if you’re working at your desk or walking the halls of your work or school, I recommend you have one earbud in and one earbud out. Having one earbud out sends the message that you are open to a friendly greeting should you pass by someone you know. Having one ear bud open at work means that you’re still connected to what’s happening in the office. And people won’t have to shout or repeat themselves when trying to ask you a question or tell you something.

Google yourself. Your first and last name, your first and last name with your current city or former city of residence and your first and last name and your school or employer. Your online image may surprise you. With so much social media and online resources (websites, articles, blogs and images), you already have an online image. Is it a positive one? Would you hire yourself if all you saw was what came up from a Google search? I recommend searching your online image several times a year.

These are just a few examples of things you can do to improve your image. There are several pages on personal branding, online presence and dressing for success in the CSS Job Search Handbook. You can pick up a copy of this from Career Services in Tower Hall. There’s also a ton of information online if you care to look into it more. It can be overwhelming. Start small; go buy some pants.

Breanne Tepler is an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Graduate & Extended Studies and a current student in the Master’s in Management program.