I haven’t worn a suit since my very first interview.
I remember interviewing at a content marketing agency for an intern position, fresh out of college and ready to hit the ground running in the “real world.” I came into the office in heels, a tailored Banana Republic skirt suit and my portfolio.
That part-time job led to a full-time position, and kicked off my working life, where I happily discovered that I had looked wildly out of place in my suit. And from that office, I learned my truth: I’m just not a “suit” kind of person.
Every office I’ve worked in since has readily accepted me in denim, dresses, open-toed shoes and even the occasional hoodie on (really) casual Fridays.
And for me, that’s really important. For you, and your employees, it might be the thing that makes or breaks accepting a job. That’s why it’s critical to recruit in line with your corporate culture, and (possibly) more importantly, to communicate your culture in a way that everyone — candidates and current employees alike — understands, and appreciates.
Understand that this means that not every candidate, and not every person, is right for your company. And that’s OK. I like working for a company that puts its culture on display, like we did recently for Halloween.
Celebrating the scary world of suits
This past week, some of our offices did something a little crazy — at least to us.
Ninety-percent of our U.K. employees and others in Plovdiv donned a particular scary kind of corporate attire for Halloween. A business suit. For some, this may have been an easier task, and others may have had to dust off a blazer and wingtips hidden in the very back of their closet.
While it started as a fun idea from the U.K. Office Manager Will Elliott, it was shared far and wide on social media, including on my own Facebook. I had friends liking and commenting, giving us kudos for “being who we are.”
Your culture shouldn’t be something you apologize for, and what works for one office might not work for another. That’s why some businesses may have celebrated the opposite way, ditching their 9-5 sharp suit for onesies and cat ears. The perks and employee benefits (like the option to be comfortable at work) are a hallmark of building a corporate culture that’s unique, and fits your business “just right.”
There are dozens of ways to put your culture on display, and build a great relationship between employer and employee.
For me? It all starts with leaving my skirt suit at the back of the closet, where it belongs.
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