Lifestyle 21 November 2019
We get it. No one wants to be seen wearing the same outfit every day. It makes you look boring, flat, and uninspired. However, according to industry experts on Business Insider, if you look at the planet's long history of successful entrepreneurs, such as Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, you'll find one thing in common — they wear the same thing every day.
Before we begin, let's make one thing clear: "same" doesn't have to mean wearing the same clothes. We're talking about patterns, textures, and accessories (more info here) that you'll be wearing so much they'll practically be wardrobe staples. Plus, it'll be useful not only for your office image but mental health as well. Keep reading to find out why.
Helps build your personal brand
Much like how McDonald's is distinctively yellow and red or how Apple feels like it's part of an exclusive club, picking the certain outfits and sticking to them builds an image of you. Woman Within has these straight leg pants which exude a very relaxed vibe, and wearing similar outfits will make you seem like a casual, laidback person overall. But if you'd rather have a more serious image, then wearing Lark & Ro's classic button blazers might be more your style. The important part is to wear the same outfit every day — so people associate you with it more.
Opens extra time in the morning
Business consultant Masha Maskina has talked about how employees are easily stressed, and "[change] only adds to the anxiety level." Sure, she was referring to adjusting to a rapidly shifting job market. However, this tip can also apply to clothes. Instead of stressing over what to wear in the morning, wear the usual, and use those extra minutes to make yourself some breakfast or go over the day's agenda.
Make one less decision everyday
Decision fatigue is real, and it's more taxing than physical fatigue. The more choices your brain has to make, the more tired it gets. And if it's exhausted, it'll be more difficult to make decisions. For example, instead of thinking things through, you'll be tempted to "get it over with" and make reckless decisions. Making extra choices, even harmless ones like picking out an outfit, wears you down over time. Save yourself the trouble with your very own "uniform."
Minimizes your wardrobe
Every year, more than 15 million tons of textile waste is generated in the U.S. alone, and it's mostly because people buy clothes that look "nice" but will rarely wear. Not only will you be doing your part to help the environment, your closet will appear less cluttered too. The habit of fixing your wardrobe carries over to other tasks like stacking documents and filing records. Being organized is more than a habit—it's a lifestyle.
Feel good in whatever you're wearing
Another great thing about having staple outfits is that you'll never have to worry if they pair well or not. Are you the type who goes into the office with a pinstripe shirt and toe pumps? Floral prints and belted pants? Orvis' Gingham jackets and high boots? If you've tested a particular combination once, liked it, then you'll always feel good about wearing it.
With all that being said, wearing the same outfits to work everyday doesn't have to be boring or meaningless. In fact, it may just be the thing you need to enhance your productivity and feel better on the job. But of course, there's no harm in wanting to dress up and express yourself through style. At the end of the day, comfort is what's most important.
4 Min Read
In 2020, as the world turned on its axis, we all held on for dear life. Businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and entrepreneurs all braced for a new normal, not sure what it would mean, what would come next, or if we should be excited or terrified.
At the same time that everything is shifting, being put on hold, or expanding, companies have to evaluate current talent needs, empower their teams to work from home, discover new ways to care for clients from a distance, and navigate new levels of uncertainty in this unfamiliar environment. Through it all, civilians are being encouraged to lean into concepts like "resilience" and "courage" and "commitment," sometimes for the first time.
Let's contrast what the business community is going through this year with the common experience of the military. During basic training, officer candidate school, multiple deployments, combat, and reintegration, veterans become well-versed in resilience, courage, and commitment to survive and thrive in completing their mission. Today, veterans working in the civilian sector find the uncertainty, chaos, instability, and fear threading through companies eerily familiar.
These individuals do not leave their passion and sense of service behind when they separate or retire out of the military. Instead, typically veterans continue to find avenues to serve — in their teams, their companies, their communities.
More than ever before, today's employers who employ prior military should focus on why and how to retain them and leverage their talents, experience, and character traits to help lead the company — and the employees — to the other side of uncertainty.
What makes veterans valuable employees
Informed employers recognize that someone with a military background brings certain high-value assets into the civilian sector. Notably, veterans were taught, trained, and grounded in certain principles that make them uniquely valuable to their employers, particularly given the current business environment, including:
It's been said that the United States Armed Forces is the greatest leadership institution in the world. The practices, beliefs, values, and dedication of those who serve make them tested leaders even outside of the military. Given the opportunity to lead, a veteran will step forward and assume the role. Asked to respect and support leadership, they comply with that position as well. Leadership is in the veteran's blood and for a company that seeks employees with the confidence and commitment to lead if called upon, a veteran is the ideal choice.
The hope is that all employees are committed to their job and give 100% each day. For someone in the military, this is non-negotiable. The success of the mission, and the lives of everyone around them, depend on their commitment to stay the course and perform their job as trained. When the veteran employee takes on a project, it will be completed. When the veteran employee says there's an unsurmountable obstacle, it is so (not an excuse). When a veteran says they're "all in" on an initiative, they will see it through.
Strategy, planning, and improv
Every mission involves strategy, planning, and then improvisation from multiple individuals. On the battlefield, no plan works perfectly, and the service member's ability to flex, pivot, and adapt makes them valuable later, in the civilian sector. Imagine living in countries where you don't speak the language, working alongside troops who come from places you can't find on a map, and having to communicate what needs to get done to ensure everyone's safety. Veterans learned how to set goals, problem-solve challenges, and successfully get results.
With an all-volunteer military for decades now, every man and woman who wore our nation's uniform raised their hand to do so. They chose to serve their country, their fellow Americans, and their leaders. These individuals do not leave their passion and sense of service behind when they separate or retire out of the military. Instead, typically veterans continue to find avenues to serve — in their teams, their companies, their communities.
When companies seek out leaders who will commit to a bigger mission, can think strategically and creatively, and will serve others, they look to veterans.
Best practices in retention of veteran talent
Retention starts at hiring. The experience set out in the interview stage provides insight about how it will be to work and grow within the team at the company. For employers hiring veterans, this is a critical step.
Veterans often tell me that they "look to work for a company that has a set of values I can ascribe to." The topic of values can serve as an opportunity for companies seeking to retain military talent.
The veteran employee may have had a few — or several — jobs since leaving the military. Or this may be their first civilian work experience. In any case, setting expectations and being clear about goals is vital. Remember, veterans are trained to complete a mission and a goal. When an employer clarifies the mission and shows how the veteran employee's role supports and fulfills that mission, the employee can more confidently and successfully complete their work.
Additionally, regular check-ins are helpful with veteran employees. These employees may not be as comfortable asking for help or revealing their weaknesses. When the employer checks in regularly, and shows genuine interest in their happiness, sense of productivity, and overall job satisfaction, the veteran employee learns to be more comfortable asking for help when needed.
The military is a values-driven culture. Service members are instilled with values of loyalty, integrity, service, duty, and honor, to name a few. When they transition out of the military, veterans still seek a commitment to values in their employers. Veterans often tell me that they "look to work for a company that has a set of values I can ascribe to." The topic of values can serve as an opportunity for companies seeking to retain military talent. Make it clear what your values are, how you live and act on those values, and how the veteran's job will promote and support those values. Even work that is less glamorous can be attractive to a veteran if they understand the greater purpose and mission.
Today, veterans working in the civilian sector find the uncertainty, chaos, instability, and fear threading through companies eerily familiar.
Finally, leveraging the strengths and goals of any employee is critical, and particularly so with veterans. If you have an employee who is passionate about service, show them ways to give back — through mentoring, community engagement, volunteerism, etc. If your veteran continues to seek leadership roles, find opportunities for them to contribute at higher levels, even informally. When your veteran employee offers to reframe the team's mission to gain better alignment across the sector, give them some runway to experiment. You have a workforce that is trained and passionate about and skilled in adapting and overcoming. Let them do what they do best.