I’ve never had a job that required I wear a suit unless you count the two years I spent in Germany as a missionary. I had to wear a suit, white shirt and tie each day regardless of the weather.
I didn’t like the dress code back then and never got used to it.
By the time I was released, I was so tired of wearing a suit I vowed I’d never take a job that required I wear one each day.
So far so good.
My first job out of college had a firm business casual dress code. My current job has the same but is more flexible. I can occasionally wear jeans and mock turtlenecks without being sent home.
I think back to my days as a missionary and remember how much more approachable I was when I wasn’t wearing a suit, tie and name badge. When all decked out in dark suit, many Germans assumed I was selling something, and wouldn’t converse. But on our preparation day I wore jeans and a t-shirt and fit into the landscape. I was a lot more approachable which made sharing my message a lot easier. There were times when I taught more people on preparation day than the rest of the week days combined.
I know that serving a mission and working in an office are two entirely different activities. But I wonder if some of the same walls I built as a missionary show up in the office?
Why would any of my far more relaxed technicians want to talk to a guy sitting behind a desk wearing slacks and a tie? I know I wouldn’t.
I’m much more likely to hear from my crew if I spend time playing basketball with them as opposed to sitting in my office in nicely pressed business casual attire all day.
Does it matter how much time I spent polishing my shoes, ironing my shirts and pressing my pants if I don’t hear how my team is doing and connect with them on their terms?
How approachable are you?