No Flip-Flops Allowed

no flip flops allowed picAs many of my followers and fans have realized, I recently went through a change of both jobs and places of residence. I’m still in the limbo stage of the latter and am working to improve the situation in the former.

Anyway, I was thinking about this topic of dress and looking for another place of employment due to an incident at work which has been discussed before with friends, family, co-workers, and supervisors.

I won’t go into all the details but I need to set up the topic. An individual started training but soon realized the position was not right so this person left. That left a vacancy on the staff. The manager has since been interviewing several people to fill the position.

The familiar situation is that many of the potential employees don’t understand how to dress for an interview.

Does this sound like something that should NOT need to be discussed? I think so, however, here I am.

Okay, if you come into pick up an application, I guess the style of dress isn’t too important (I always have dressed professional/casual). However, if you’re called in for an interview, I don’t believe you should wear: flip-flops, shorts, sneakers, khakis, or jeans. Yes, I’ve heard of people coming in to interview with my supervisor(s) wearing one or more of these. It amazed me when I listened to the story about the guy who was surprised to hear he had to wear brown or black dress shoes to work and that didn’t include his black tennis shoes.

And flip-flops? Give me a break!

I hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but the kids these days…

I was raised to understand it didn’t matter if you were interviewing for a sewer worker’s position, a garbage man’s job, a fry cook, a managerial position, or to be the CEO of a company, you dressed properly. That means guys: dress shoes, dress socks, dress pants, dress shirt, and (yes I hate wearing them, too) a tie. Gals: professional dress to proper length (i.e. no miniskirts), or professional pants and blouse. Proper shoes and hosiery, if that is your style.

Now, of course you’re groomed properly, arrive on time, have copies of your resume ready, and are prepared to answer those nerve-wracking questions (Where do you see yourself in five years? Tell me about a time where you failed on your last job? What would your last supervisor say is your best value? Arg!). You know all that stuff and I don’t want this week’s post to turn into a how-to on getting a job. I just thought the recent situation with interveiwees for a position and the way they dress seemed like a good topic.

Remember the old adage about not being able to make a second first impression? Well, a smile and the way you’re dressed are that first impression. Even before the boss sees your smile, he/she will notice what clothes you are wearing.

How does this relate to writing? Well, I remember previous Killer Nashville conferences and the times set aside for editors/agents/publishers to listen to pitches from wannabe authors. Those writers treated those ten minutes like a job interview. I remember one woman an outfit like she was meeting royalty. The guys may not have worn ties, but they were smartly dressed. The people who are going to decide to take your book will be more acceptable if you look nice. You could have the next Twilight series ready to go, but if you’re wearing shorts, an untucked T-shirt, and flip-flops, your chances of getting a contract just nosedived.

The day of my panel, I dressed in a shirt and tie. I was not going to present myself and my book wearing jeans. While listening to other seminars as an audience member, sure, but not as a presenter. At any author appearance, I will either dress in a shirt and tie or get funky and wear my taekwondo uniform that matches my main character’s. (Except she looks so much better in hers! Lol.)

So the message this week is: discard the flip-flops and put on sensible shoes when you interview.

Can anybody explain the reasoning behind thinking that flip-flops and shorts are appropriate for a job interview?

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “No Flip-Flops Allowed

  1. As you mentioned wearing your taekwondo uniform, the only reason I can think is, if your protagonist is a beach bum, an undercover FBI working as a lift-guard, perhaps a CIA guy running from the law, or a hotdog salesman on the boardwalk – THEN, I think it might be ‘cute’ to wear shorts, flip-flops and a straw hat to the pitch session and comment as a comment on the main character. Otherwise. Nuh-uh! Not so much.

  2. Pat Bieber

    There is no reasoning involved! That said, I could understand a person applying for a job involving hard labor, such as farm work, roofing, or sanitation, to apply wearing CLEAN jeans with a belt and a tucked-in shirt with a collar, either button up or polo. Possibly not dress shoes in this case, but again CLEAN work shoes or boots that would be appropriate for the job.

  3. Maybe at a pitch session you could be allowed some leeway.

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