Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Dressing goth in the workplace

**Taken from my old blog***

I know... I know... I know.. funny enough, after starting this new blog and after getting on my proverbial soapbox about no longer being a corp goth because I think I dress too goth for a more corporate setting, here I am writing about dressing goth for work. This is the second post I ever did in my old blog and I really like the advice I gave and wanted to edit it to reflect to where I am today. You see, I am STILL working at the same place! I took this advice and it worked out well for me!

 I know depending on the industry you work for, some clothing/jewelry/body mods are more acceptable than others. For instance, when I worked in a more corporate environment, pin-striped suits were my best friend and anything that was not typical office wear was frowned upon. I understand A LOT of the things I wear at my current office would have sent me packing in previous jobs but there are some essential little rules I have acquired over the years:


Know, and never cross, the boundaries of tolerance in appearance for your specific profession. I noticed, depending on the industry, some offices are more lenient than others. I work in fashion so I can get away a little more than previous jobs. On the other hand, there are certain articles of clothing I do own that are best to be kept outside of the workplace. Usually these items can be categorized as fetish/club gear anyway.
In the beginning, once I got myself established at this job, if ever I doubted whether or not something was acceptable, I had a chat with my boss or with HR. When I was planning on getting my facial piercing, I checked-in to make sure it was OK.

Wean them in - establish mutual respect and then slowly show your true colors (or in this case lack of colors!)  When I first started working for my current employer, I was "normal".  I like to say that it was a phase I was going through at the time. I foolishly felt like since I was a first-time mom, I had to dress for the part. I was also getting out of a weird funk I was in. Those closest to me used to play "spot the goth undertones" because as much as I denied it, the real me was still there.

This all changed gradually and although my boss said I could wear whatever I wanted - within reason, I did not immediately prance into work all decked out. I worked my way into it. Yes, sometimes shocking the more conservative people can be amusing but we don't want to do this in an office! I took my time, built my confidence up at work. Another trick is to balance out with the more gothic looking outfits with the more conservative looking ones. One day, I wear the skirt with the D-rings and the next day, a very smart looking pair of black jeans and a plain t-shirt.

Personally, I never cared whether or not I got acceptance from anyone; be it the mainstream or other Goths. The only reason why I did this was because, well, I have bills to pay! I take pride in being able to contribute to my family's income! I would also like to chime in by stating that I am STILL working at the same job. The new people seem to like being greeted by me and find me very friendly. In fact, someone told me they remembered how nice I was on their first day several years ago! In addition, my attitude played a huge part in this. In the beginning, my spider web stockings and Siouxsie shirt was frowned upon...I wear them often now! This leads to....

Dress in a manner that is comfortable for your coworkers (within reason). Compromise enough to establish a good working relationship with your coworkers. Today, co-workers cannot imagine me wearing the things I used to or even looking the way I did when I first started and I am occasionally complimented for some of the things I currently wear. This acceptance hasn't always come easy and I coped with it by networking. When interacting with my colleagues, I am always professional, polite, and courteous. It doesn't mean you should spend personal time with them (unless you want to) or let them take advantage of you being nice and helpful, or even make fun of you for what you wear. I like to think that it speaks volumes when you can come to work and establish yourself as a valuable key player within the company. Make it so they see YOU, see how smart and capable you are. In the end, the clothes won't be noticed so much but your personality, your ability to get the job done well is what stands out. It does take a lot of work but in the end, if you cannot have a professional rapport with your co-workers, this could massively backfire on you. If you think about it, you should be doing this anyway in any job, dress code or not.

 I also noticed that by relating to people, even in a small way, helps. I am fortunate, there are tons of young parents at my company and I can relate to them by "parent talk". If that fails, I ask them questions about themselves, I talk about the weather or if I find out they have pets, I talk about those! Show them that you are human and they can relate to you in some small level. It is funny how some people can perceive others. Sometimes, non-goth people want to talk to us. They are curious and don't know how to approach us. Make yourself approachable. Yes, even if they ask you the same age old questions and make the same age old remarks. We all know them all but they don't. Be patient. I know it is easier said than done, believe me! Trust me, the "you look like Abby from NCIS" comment does get old but to them, it isn't, plus, it is a huge ass compliment!


Here are some of my favourite work outfits I have worn over the years:












 

10 comments:

  1. Waves hi!

    I enjoy your stylish work wear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yahoo! Thank you for migrating over here! Thanks for the compliment!

      Delete
  2. Good advice! I'm glad your workplace has worked out so well for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debra! I am glad too, it wasn't easy

      Delete
  3. I remember this post! still good advice

    ReplyDelete
  4. You always look great Sylvie! Love the outfits. I've been sorely lacking on putting up daily outfits lately. I really should start up again! Glad to see you are continuing with the new blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! Thanks for the compliments.

      Delete
  5. If I'm not mistaken this was the article that brought me to your original blog. I was looking for advice on dressing goth at work. I found the article really useful and decided to stay :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww cool! Welcome to the new blog! Thanks for staying :)

      Delete

Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...