Have you ever watched the film Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah and ever reflected on the things that have happened in your life that could have been different if X or Y had happened?
My husband and I were having such a conversation the other night, and he recalled his first step onto the management career ladder. At the time, he was working as a counter clerk for the Post Office and by chance was given the opportunity to go for an assessment centre for the Regional Management Training Scheme. In theory he wasn’t the right grade to apply (and it was very grade-driven in those days!), but his manager supported his application and hence he attended the assessment day. He passed the assessment and met the Assessor afterwards who commented that one of the things that had really impressed her and made him stand out, was that he was “wearing a three-piece suit which clearly indicated that you were ready for management”. All of this happened when my husband was in his twenties (he’s in his fifties now!), but he thinks that decision was definitely a defining moment in his career. He got onto the Management Training Scheme (before he ‘should’ have done) and his career really took off. It was one of those ‘sliding door moments and he honestly believes that his appearance played a very significant part in his success.So have you had any ‘sliding door moments’ like this? Is your business image going to open doors for you too? It’s clearly worth the investment. As we say at our business image training days, it’s definitely worth dressing for the job you want, rather than the job you’ve got.