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dress code and culture at work

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by TauKappaEpsilon, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. passingtime

    passingtime Senior member

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    This is absolutely correct. It's all about messaging and projecting an image that matches people's preconceptions. If there isn't a match people are uncomfortable and that leads to doubts and hostility. At this point in your career you want to be seen as low maintenance and approachable so dress exactly as globetrotter describes. In my work I use clothes a lot to elicit particular responses from people depending on what I need from them and how I need them to act - there is a dog whistle effect with clothes that most people never see.
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    this is a good way of putting it - if you are high maintanance, there will always be people who are just waiting for you to fuck up so that they can get rid of you.

    look over your posts - you are almost saying that you are doing this lawfirm a favor working for them as an intern, and it seems that you believe that. and you can bet your ass that several people feel that, people who don't have rich parents and who didn't buy an expensive watch until after they had started tp pay off their law school loans.
     
  3. TauKappaEpsilon

    TauKappaEpsilon Senior member

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    I'm sorry you got that impression from my posts because that is not how I feel at all. I know that I'm not an asset to them and they could easily find another pre-law undergraduate who can do the same job as me, if not find someone better then me. However, during my time here I continue to prove that I get things done quickly and well.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but, the only way to build confidence is by being good at something. Most people who look for lawyers look for someone who is persuasive, aggressive, and confident. I have all those qualities, except, I don't have the degree nor do I have the confidence (yet) to be a good attorney. I continue to do well at the internships and jobs I have in hopes to build up to getting the associate position when I finish law school. Once I prove to both myself, and my bosses, that I'm good at what I do, I'll have more confidence.

    I apologize if I've sounded arrogant and if I've sounded like I know everything and that I'm good at everything.

    I have another thread I started many months ago, maybe some of you who think I'm an ostentatious idiot with no sense of what the real world is like can look through that thread. I'm sure you'll all get a different picture of who I am.
     
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    That was all well said.

    Cheers
     
  5. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    people also look for things like 'self awareness' and 'friendliness.' people also don't like seeing 20 year old college students wearing $15,000 watches, if for no other reason than it shows you're concerned with clothing instead of doing a good job.

    let your actions speak instead of your clothing. i sometimes wear expensive clothing to work, but if someone ever asks me where it's from, i say that i got it on sale or it's from macy's. i do this not because i'm ashamed of what i wear, but because telling people that i'm wearing designer pants i spent two weeks tracking down on yoox creates a poor impression. sure in a perfect world nobody would care what you wear, but that's not the world we live in.

    what troubles me is both the tone in your posts and the fact that you made this thread (and your other threads) at all. people on this board complain about how the current generation (y? z?) is too concerned with external validation and all feel that they're special flowers, and your threads scream all those thoughts.

    you seem to dismiss things like degrees ('i have everything i need to be a lawyer... but the incredibly difficult six years of schooling that lies ahead of me!'), but talk is cheap. having things like degrees, while not a guarantee of a person's ability to perform, at least shows that they were willing to put the time and effort into earning something instead of simply bragging about all the skills and abilities they have.

    i tore into you in another thread because you remind me of every other self-important and worthless 20 year old i meet who has about as much sense of self as a cactus, but i'll try to give you a good bit of advice here: spend less time talking about how great you are and how well you do at things, and just do well at things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  6. passingtime

    passingtime Senior member

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    Ok - I will correct you. :)

    Delivery and consistency rate far higher than good alone which will probably get you fired. You are confusing what is required of an intern with what you perceive as being key attributes of a lawyer which is many years in the future at best. At this point standing out for any reason other than your ability to delivery is almost certainly bad, and dressing differently definitely falls into the bad category.
     
  7. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    well, I just learned a lot vicariously... thanks senior peeps
     
  8. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    i'm older than you and in a very different position in my life, and i too have an internship. i work at a museum doing boring cataloguing, which is basically typing descriptions of hundreds of similar items into a database. im thrilled that i have the internship because: a. it's paid, which is very rare in the field, and b. it's a killer reference if i ever want to work in the field. most of the people i work with do not have advanced degrees (some of them don't even have a college diploma), are old and are volunteers. do i lord over them the fact that i have a degree and am a funded graduate student? no, i shut the fuck up and listen to their boring stories about their grandchildren and do what's asked of me. i do this because i am intern. it's like that little speech in full metal jacket - 'there are many like me'. i am the lowest cog in the tiny machine that is a regional history museum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  9. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    final thought: you are 20 (or 21?) and in college. spend less money buying ugly jcrew cotton suits and more money buying weed and beer. spend less time worrying about if your cufflinks are going to offend a partner and more time trying to get laid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  10. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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    Another thought: even though you might be humble and just trying to fit in, you have to remember that a lot of law firm partners are stuck up, self-important assholes. You may just want to "fit in," but a lot of them aren't going to like the idea of someone they see beneath/behind them dressing like they do. So even if you are self-effacing and nice to everyone, they're going to project their own biases and insecurities on you and that's going to be two-plus strikes against you.

    Anyway: best of luck! Working at a big law firm can be a really soul-draining experience.
     
  11. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Teger brings the hate :lol:
     
  12. deadly7

    deadly7 Senior member

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    This was a serious inquiry. Wondering what people think. Where I work nobody gives a shit, and when I wear ties (at work or for fun) I wear tie clips for utility purposes.
     
  13. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    Bump:

     
  14. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Senior member

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    They start young thesedays.
     
  15. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    You can thank me later for this find. ;)
     
  16. Luddite

    Luddite Senior member

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    Look, here's the thing: I'm four years out at one of New Zealand's largest firms. We're the local branch of a larger still Australian/English firm. We are not a large firm by American standards.

    But:
    - If I give legal research to an intern (with half a law degree), it's because we won't be billing their time and it might save me time down the line. And it's because I like them and want to give them good work.
    - Graduates can expect a lot of photocopying. And there have been graduates I (a) only trust with photocopying; and (b) don't even trust with photocopying. People in category (b) will struggle to make budget, because I won't be alone.
    - I don't care about your background, intelligence or grades. I care about your reliability. I get work from people more senior than me, and they expect to be able to rely on me to produce quality work. I pass work down, and most of what I pass down...shit, I just want to be able to rely on you to (a) produce work that I can turn into quality work; (b) not get me into trouble; (c) not give me any surprises; and (d) photocopy things with no missing or upside down pages. That's about it.

    Here, dress codes are a lot more flashy in many ways than what a lot in this thread suggest. Cufflinks are standard and no one would bat an eyelid at a tie clip (but would add that watch (which, by the way, people might assume you bought at a marked in Bali). There's a guy in his second year out who wears seersucker suits, and a lot of the male junior solicitors, myself included, probably peacock a wee bit too much. But flash from a summer clerk or intern? Shit no. We just expect you to be wearing pants and a shirt that either almost fit you or fit your dad. To be honest, most students I see trying to show off in how they dress just look silly.
     
  17. PooJou

    PooJou Well-Known Member

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    Agree comprehensively with Luddite's post above - and I think that's because of the Euro/Asian influences we have..

    Although I am still considered "young" - I'm vehemently against, especially in my industry, youngsters who dress 'over the top' - and this harks back to every other comment made in this thread and it's about _fitting_in_ and _knowing_your_place_.

    I know for sure if you presented a 21 year old to any of the senior management here, they'd have a serious issue with the image they'd be projecting.

    Varies from industry to industry too I suspect.

    Further TKE - good luck on your career - it seems the US is a pretty tough place to work!
     
  18. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    And you expect your boss doesn't think the same thing about your peacocking.
     
  19. Luddite

    Luddite Senior member

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    That is why I said that, honestly, a lot of junior solicitors - myself included - probably push it a wee bit too far. The point is that the margin of what you can get away with expands with seniority.
     
  20. PooJou

    PooJou Well-Known Member

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    I'd also say that in some organisations, youngsters are allowed this type of behaviour, but it gets more conservative as you move up. Reverse-peacocking if you will.
     

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