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SEP 2007



If you would like a consultation to help you determine what type of clothes look best on you, call 503-655-2682 or email
joy@designwithjoy.com
to make an appointment.

 

 

 

 

Notes from Joy:
Avoid the Women's Business Casual Trap

Has your business gone "business casual"? You're probably celebrating the relaxed dress code. More comfortable! Less expensive! But before you break out the champagne, don't stray into the business casual trap.

What's the trap? It's the belief that your clothing choices don't matter anymore because everyone is more laid back and therefore your success is based on other qualities: Your skill, your personality, the quality of your work.

To the contrary, your clothing choices for business casual can have a greater impact on your success than when business formal was the code.

In a business setting where many of your associates are dressing carelessly, a little careful planning could trip the scales toward greater career success for you. But women's business casual is so loosely defined. How can you know what is appropriate?

I asked women what they considered to be business casual. What I discovered were definitions all over the board: from Capri's, tanks and flip flops to pant suits and closed toe shoes. Then I consulted company dress policies. I saw phrases like "Business Casual" or "Extremes in dress, hair and makeup should be avoided." Conclusion: Not a lot of business casual guidance out there!

Perhaps no one in management is commenting on your flip flops, but here's my question: "Is the way you dress for work really working for you?"

The biggest impact of poor business casual clothing choices may be the business opportunities you never receive or hear about.

In my article below, I explain ways you can test if your business wear is really working for you. In addition, due to the volatility of the stock market this past summer, I asked Sherry Prinz to write an article on how to wisely invest in the stock market - in any market conditions. I hope it gives you some insight.

If you have any nuggets you would like to share, questions or comments please email me at joy@designwithjoy.com or call me at (503) 655-2682. Enjoy.

Test your Business Clothes
Investing in the Stock Market

I have been working with the international marketing pro, Jay Abraham, on my marketing plan. One thing he always emphases is to test everything. When you test your communication, you can determine its effect on your market audience. The non-verbal communication of your image and the clothes you wear has an effect on your market audience (co-workers, clients and supervisors).

What is the effect you are creating in the workplace? Are the clothes you are currently wearing working for you? Are you getting the projects you want, the sales, the promotions, the opportunities? Or are you being passed over?

Find out by testing what style of clothes work best for you. Then you can make changes and increase your effectiveness by 10%, 20%, 50% or even more.

Compare the responses you receive when wearing jeans/t-shirt, docker/blouse/shirt, pant suit/sport coat casual.

Determine what type of shoe generates the most positive reactions - athletic, flip flops, sandals, closed toe casual, closed toe dressy.

To begin, evaluate the response you receive for what you are currently wearing.

Rate from 1 to 10:
• How do you feel overall?
• Your confidence level?
• Your energy level?
• Your feeling of authority?
• Your professionalism?

Now rate from 1 to 10 how were you treated by:
• Your boss
• Others in power
• Subordinates
• Clients/Companies
Gatekeepers
• Vendors

Finally, what results are you getting?
"• Did you get the sale, promotion, project, the proposal?

Now change something about your appearance. For example:
• Capri's to dress pants
• Flip flops to casual closed toe shoes
• A lot of make-up to a more natural look

With the new changes in place, answer the above questions again. Keep testing until you find a look that gives you everything you want every time. Afterall, you are already at work. You might as well create as many opportunities as you can by creating an image that supports your personal goals!

Click on the link here to access a PDF file of a testing worksheet you can use to help you keep track of your testing results.

Investing in the stock market can be fun and profitable, but it's not for the weak-of-heart.

As attractive as the market is when it is going up; it is equally as gut-wrenching when it is coming down (which it will). But history shows you can increase your personal wealth by owning stocks.

A well diversified portfolio would include not only stocks or mutual funds (a collection of pre-selected stocks), but also a fixed income component. This could be bonds or preferred stock for example - something that pays you a known interest or dividend stream. The mix will depend on your age, financial status and risk tolerance. You should also have at least 10% cash on hand, or enough to live on for about 3 months.

Buying stocks yourself can be rewarding. But if you don't have or want to put in the time to research companies and markets, engage with an investment advisor to learn about their investment options and styles.

If you chose to dabble in the stock market there are a few fundamental rules to follow.

A. Pick a strategy and stick to it
Whether you choose to only buy stocks that have fallen below their 52-week highs or sell them as soon as they decline more than 10% from your purchase price, no matter what - consistency is a winning discipline over the long haul. Invest in companies or industries you know
If you walk into Nordstrom and find it consistently void of traffic that may be a red flag, or at least a starting point to investigate further. Or how about if Starbucks starts selling rap CDs, skate boards and piercing services at its stores - that may not play well with their current target market. Do you work at a bank? Financial stocks may be your niche.

B. Never invest more than you can afford to lose
The stock market holds no guarantees. You stand to make the most gains if your time horizon is longer (5-10 years), but there are peaks and valleys along the way.

Good luck!

Cherrie Prinz
Portfolio Manager
CWC Advisors, LLC.
503-968-0950

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