When in doubt, make sure your business casual is more professional rather than less professional. This is especially important in job interviews or early-on meetings since it is what others use to form a first impression of you. http://carterevansworld.pdxrwa.org/2016/08/28/considering-astute-national-health-service-programsIf you’re looking to get promoted, you need to dress seriously. Appropriate business casual dress typically includes slacks or khakis, dress shirt or blouse, open-collar or polo shirt, a dress or skirt at knee-length or below, knit shirt or sweater, and shoes that cover most of the foot. In particular, for women, they should not wear (unless, of course, company norms say different): Anything too short, too tight or too sheer (see-through) Skirts or dresses should keep to 1-2 inches above the knee at most Blouses that are sleeveless or low-cut and revealing (showing too much cleavage) Overly casual shoes (e.g., flip flops, sneakers) or those with extremely high heels (e.g., stilettos, strappy sandals, heels taller than 2.5 to 3 inches) T-shirts or halter tops or strapless tops Jeans (unless you are allowed to wear jeans; in that case make sure your top is not too casual) Shorts Casual and/or strapless or spaghetti strap sundresses (you can put a light cardigan sweater or jacket over it to dress it up more) Tank tops Hoodies that are wrinkled or look like pajamas Watch the colors you are wearing. Neon and metallic are no-nos. What’s important is to get someone’s opinion (and not from the person who dresses even more casual). Some good choices for business casual for women include: Casual pants, including cropped pants and capris that hit around mid-calf Skirts and dresses in more casual styles in an appropriate length Button-up shirts, blouses or sweaters Open-toed shoes, including dress sandals Men, meanwhile, should not wear: T-shirts, especially those with obscene or inflammatory sayings or gestures on them Tank tops or muscle tops Jeans or cargo pants Tennis shoes, sandals or flip-flops, bootsor worn-out shoes Wrinkled or dirty clothes Shirts that are not tucked in Shirts that are open and expose too much chest hair Pants that are too short or too long Materials that are see-through or in overly harsh or bright colors Instead, for business casual, men can wear: Polo-style shirts or button-up dress shirts Casual pants (clean and neatly pressed) Sweaters Casual (and clean) shoes, preferably leather Summer is a great time to be able to wear business casual on some occasions. While you may want to just jump out of bed and wear your PJs to work, that’s just not acceptablenot to your colleagues, your clients and certainly not to your boss. Joyce E.
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If you’ve read this column over the years, you know I’m critical of American public education – and of Americans’ approach to it. Not that I’m an authority on education: far from it. I do, however, have two good vantage points from which I can offer crystal clear observations. I’ve published plenty of articles referencing mounds of data documenting America’s plummeting global ranking in educational attainment, especially contrasted to many European countries, Canada, Israel, Japan, and Korea. Without advanced academic credentials of my own, my observation and five bucks might get me a tall latte, but my concern as a career coach and job market observer (where I do have something to say) and adjunct professor of two graduate courses at FDU, arises from the direct correlation I see between the degeneration of education and the tenuous nature of people’s careers and – by extension – the difficulty of many companies to remain competitive. But before you start thinking this will be a tome about S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) – a hot topic – it’s not. Also, don’t get me wrong: the American economy, our level of innovation, and the job market are all in good shape right now – after a long road back – and much of what we do is the envy of the world. But when I project into the next two decades, I have reason for concern. Me, the eternal optimist!
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