Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5 tips to create an outfit that helps you achieve your career goals [Guest post]

Hello everyone! My name is Virginie, I am a movie producer and small business owner and my blog is Virginie's Cinema. I started getting interested in personal style when I realized it could help me achieve my career goals. Since then, I have discovered many ways our wardrobe can be a tool in our success and wanted to share with you five basic tips to make your outfit help you accomplish your dreams. Every work occasion deserves a different outfit strategy, but these tips apply to all situations and all fields. Here we go!

  • First, know what your goal is. You need to know specifically what you want in order to get it. Sure we all want success, but how do you define it? Do you want to get a promotion, be liked by everyone, establish your value in your company, get financiers to participate in your small business? You need a specific goal. My job is to get together the finances and organize the planning for the movies I make so my goal is always this: to convince and inspire—financiers, actors, service providers, my artistic team, etc. I have to convince and inspire them to come on my boat and row with me, although the seas will not always be clement. 
  • Then, choose 3 words that define how you want to be perceive. A leader, an indispensable employee, an approachable and human boss, a feared business person...what do you want your clothes to say? I like to be perceived as a serious and ambitious but creative producer. That's why I'll wear something traditional for the workplace such as a pencil skirt (serious) but with a sweater instead of a blazer (creative) and am not scared to use bold colours like yellow (ambitious). Pick three words that describe the business person you want to be and translate them into your clothes.
  • Stimulate imagination. By captivating the imagination we captivate the heart. And as much as we were made to believe business is emotion-free, it's not, even if only subconsciously. It's like publicity: no one is forcing you to shop at this or this store, you are choosing to because their ads stimulated your imagination and touched you. In today's world, you are your own brand and you need to sell yourself. How you look is definitely part of the equation. You want to choose an outfit that points to the goal you are looking to achieve and that shows you in your best light. You want to dress as if you have already achieved your goal so to inspire this energy in the people you are dealing with (and put it out in the universe!). I like to use subtle details like textured stockings or colourful shoes to add imagination to my outfits and like to be a little more dressed up than I really need to everyday to inspire, and hence create, success. 
  • Be memorable. You don't want an outfit that is shocking and over the top but you want something that will make sure you are remembered. We meet a lot of people everyday and you need to stand out in a way that helps you achieve your goals. In a world full of grey, I find using colours is an enticing and creative outfit strategy. The people you work with need to keep a positive souvenir of you long after you have left the room so that when they need your expertise they will think of you right away.
  • It's all in the details. Paying careful attention to the many details that make an outfit come together (accessory, jewelry, make up, nails, bag) says volumes about the care and attention you will give to your work, which is very important. It's a reflection of your work ethic.

I hope these tips are useful to you and I'd love to hear how they have inspired you and your work clothes! For more tips for the workplace, small business owners and freelancers check out my series You're the Boss Apple Sauce. We can all have the career of our dreams!

Thank you so much Angeline for having me over!

Virginie ♥

Shop this look!
Skirt: Vintage
Bag: Cole Haan
Shoes: ModCloth
Sweater: H&M
Pendant: Swarovski
Belt: Pretty Colourful Vintage
Stockings: Walmart


  1. This is a fabulous post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this especially because I am in a similar field with parts creative and parts definitively business.

  3. I'm glad you ladies enjoyed the post!

    I think in a creative field it's easy to sometimes got the oposite way and be way too casual (I've worked with people that would show up in jogging pants even though they were in power positions!) and we have to remember that the people we collaborate with might come from a field where there is a stronger or more traditional dress etiquette is expected. You have to find a balance!

    Thanks again Angeline, hope you are doing great visiting your little nephew!

  4. I love the post, Virginie! I've always tried to be mindful of the message my clothes put out there, but never have really thought about my wardrobe this way. I'm bookmarking this one for future use.

  5. This post brought up a lot of good points, some I've not really considered before, when it comes to wardrobe. I really liked the suggestion of picking the three words that define how you would like to be perceived and then translate that into your wardrobe. Thanks for great information!

  6. Thanks, Virginie, for this great post! I'm really glad you readers enjoyed it. I love having a fellow freelancer/entrepreneur blogger friend to get ideas from. :)

  7. I just now found this post and I love it.
    I was so happy when I ventured into a creative field because I could allow myself to wear more spunky clothes (still having gray skirt suits, though. They are perfect to tone something down when I feel the need to accessorize a little too much).
    I have seen the sweat pants as well and I don't get it. How are people supposed to be impressed by your creativity when you look like you just rolled out of bed?
    I have to find my three words, now.



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