Who invented the dress code ‘smart casual/? No really? I guarantee they were the type of people who would never be able to pick somewhere to eat but turn down all other suggestions and then not order chips and steal all of yours- AKA the worst kind of people.
Usually when you ask for a dress code it is because you don’t want to get it wrong- smart and casual are two different dress codes and for a girl who spends her life in pyjamas, I need the clarity. Can I turn up in trainers? Should I wear a dress? Can I fool them into believing I’m a grown woman?
Since leaving uni the prospect of real, adult job interviews has been more imminent than ever. It has finally dawned on me that putting in a 9-5 stint of House of Cards isn’t actually sustainable and by September my overdraft will be gone (not that I am already teetering on the cusp of it already).
Obviously different sectors demand different dress codes from staff. I count myself lucky that I can turn up to placements in my outdoor pjs or culottes as they are more commonly known, and it generally falls in line with what everyone else is wearing.
We are taught from such a young age that first impressions matter. Yet no one should judge a book by its cover (wow, all the clichés). How far are you supposed to go in interviews to impress an employer regarding the way you look?
This has stemmed from a very long standing debate with my parents about my facial piercings and wrist tattoo. According to relatives unless I want a job at sea I have severely decremented my chances of employment. A few months ago I was told that the shine off my nose ring or tongue bar could distract an interviewee. I’m easily distracted but really?
As I have written before, it baffles me that people still think they can pass judgement on certain aspects of people’s appearance like it really has anything to do with them. Yet I can’t help but think myself lucky to have chosen a creative sector where such traditional prejudices no longer seem to exist. Basically every other aspect of work life has evolved so why are tattoos still reserved for sailors in some people’s minds?
With body art becoming increasingly socially acceptable, both in and out of the workplace, are people really risking their careers by getting the latest body decoration?
Graduates are constantly told how competitive the work place is and to show a bit of personality in interviews to set themselves apart. Does that translate to- take out all of your piercings and hide your tattoo for god’s sake? I am tempted to say no. I would perhaps question the judgement of someone with a profanity tattooed across their forehead or an offensive symbol but that’s not exactly the majority of people and I am pretty sure if you spoke to them for a few minutes the tattoo would be the least of your worries.
I don’t think people would really consider their body art or piercings as a fashion choice as such and therefore would they count as falling in line with a dress code? Tattoos and piercings are, in some cases, forms of self-expression and can be talking points. It’s fine to not like them, each to their own. But I don’t believe you could consider someone to be unfit for a job because of them.
The Telegraph reported that it is estimated that 1 in 3 young people have at least one tattoo and they’re becoming more popular. Here’s hoping that discrimination towards body modification dies out as the new workforce moves up. But in the meantime, I’ll be keeping mine on show and if someone could just tell me what to wear to interviews (or give me an interview) that would be grand.