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If you have a question for our Career Coach, e-mail Helen at careers@ReConnectAfrica.com

ImageDear Helen

I have worked for a number of years in a media company in London, dressing casually is part of the work culture, and something I have grown used to. I wear my hair in braids and I am known for my big jewellery and bright colours. I have just been offered a job in a media consultancy but when I went for the interview, I noticed that the people working there dress in a very conservative ‘corporate’ way.  I don’t want to have to change the way I look but my friends are warning me that I might lose my job if I keep dressing outrageously.  What do you think?

Janise, London

Hi Janise

I sympathise with your love of colours and I love wearing my hair in braids too!  The key question to ask yourself, though, is whether you are dressing for you or for your new company.   The media consultancy that you are going to work for has a visual image that is part of their brand and the image they want to convey to their clients.  They are hiring you to be part of their brand and your job is to ensure that you help the company to reach its particular target market and to build on its success. 

I have to agree with your friends on this one.  While you are not at work, you can wear whatever you choose, but when you are on company time, you need to represent them in the way that their other staff do.  Dress for the job you want, not for the job you had!

All the best!


If you would like further advice on creating a professional image and making the right visual impact, contact us for further details.

Voted Candace Business Woman of the Year 1997, Helen Dupigny is a Director and co-founder of Working Plus, (www.working-plus.com) a Careers Management and Diversity consultancy and creator of the award-winning ‘Six Steps Career and Personal Development Programme’. A Sierra Leonean based in London, Helen is also the author of ‘Vicissitude’, a guide to making life and career changes.

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