Tuesday, May 26, 2009

╠ Ditch the Suit ╣

During the weekend just passed I met up with my family and since it's now my final year, conversation moved to my career. Also being close to my birthday the prospect of buying me a really good suit arose. I declined, however this was because when it comes to a suit I would want to pick it myself, because I don't want just a generic suit.

Now they used this as me trying to put forward an excuse for me just wanting to be cheap because I would never spend a lot on a suit myself. Now they were rather certain about this so I had to take a new viewpoint and sort of make the challenge to get a good job without resorting to buying a fancy suit. Which is actually a little bit of a shame because I am quite fond of one day looking spiffy in a suit.

Those of you who read Marketing mag may remember Zac Martin's post about ditching the resume. The resume is simply a way of trying to make yourself look fancier than you are, and suits are the same. In fact they work just like branded goods, you buy them for the social value. Basically you spend $500 on a suit to say that you spent $500 on a suit. Yet somehow this makes you better for a job than someone else.

Zac manages to use the fact that he ditched his resume and replaced it with a blog to spark conversation. However suit's are not so easily replaced, there's not exactly an alternative attire that isn't considered directly inferior to a suit in an interview situation.

That being said I'm going to give it a go. See if I can be a little different and see how far I can get without a suit. Odds are I'm fighting a helpless cause however it will be an interesting challenge to trial none the less.

Amusingly the actual final part of the challenge was to write a book about it if succesful and use the proceeds to buy a suit. But who needs to write a book when you have a blog. So I'll be keeping you up to speed here. As for the proceeds buying a suit...well I may just be waiting a while for that :P


Lili said...

It helps if you have a proper shirt, at least, for one. >_>

I remember asking if you had a proper shirt for your "suit". You said yes. The next time I see you in your "suit" you're in a short, short sleeved, crinkled, "Rusty" shirt.

Yes, technically, it's button-down. Yes, techincally, it has a collar. No, it's not what I would call a "proper shirt for a suit".

Zara and I actually had a conversation about you wearing a suit, yesterday. O.o;

Anyway, I don't think you need to pay $500 to get a good looking suit. I reckon you can look good in a cheap suit, if you do it right. I can wear a complete outfit that costs me $15 total, and get people thinking I'm wearing a $600 outfit. It's about shopping right, and composing right.

So rest assured, I'm sure you can still look spiffy in a suit without spending a fortune.

Not sure what it is about the suit. It's kind of gained a social connotation to success. I suppose it's because back in the days you probably DID have to spend $500 or so dollars to look good in the suit, therefore meaning you had money to burn, thereore being successful. Also, business men usually wear suits; businessmen stereotypically being serious about work. (Therefore more appealing to a potential employer as it has a subtle connotation of you being serious about work). Maybe it's: dressing like success means you're prepared for success.

But that can possibly be replaced with "acting like success means you're prepared for success."

I reckon you could still get places in smart casual, if you present yourself well. A successful designer doesn't need to be wearing suits to look successful. They'd probably just wear something "trendy," and simply act successful...


There you go. Discussions on the applications of the suit, including why it is/isn't used in job interviews.

I don't know if I completely strayed from the topic. If I did, I'm sorry... I'm tired.

Tannie said...

Well yes I don't consider what i have a suit as such >_>

Why would you and Zara have a convo about that?

But I think I will try and break the norm and see if no suit can be as effective as no resume.

You stuck to it pretty well actually >_>

Jono said...

In terms of 'creatives' a suit is definitely unpreffered. One of my past lecturers used to design watches for Rip Curl, and she told us about how when she went for the interview she just went wearing... well very neat, trendy clothing... she got the job, and they told her that if anyone did come in in a suit then they automatically put them on their 'no' list.
I know you aren't going for a typical 'creative' job, so this is probably irrelevant to you, but I still think it apt to the blog post.

Tannie said...

Actually it was quite suiting. Marketing can be considered a creative job. Marketing can be an art and a science so it can fall into a creative career depending on which you excel in.

Most of all it's useful because it's a success story without a suit!