Want to Get Promoted? Here is One of the Secrets

If you do not enjoy the position, salary, or respect your feel you deserve, I recommend you dress and speak for the role you aspire to, not the one you now have.

When I was growing up, my mother gave me great advice.

Patricia with her parents, on the right, and friends dressed up for Rotary Ladies NIght.

She said, “Patricia, of course, it is the inner you that is most important. However, you have to dress up and look good so that you can attract others. They will then discover how nice and smart you are and how you can be of value to them.”

Hollywood has ideas to help you get promoted.

Edith Head, the famous costume designer for Hollywood movies, gave us more great advice!

She said, “You can have everything you want as long as you dress for it!” She had a point. Costumes are as essential for the movie of your life as they are for a Hollywood movie.

Before you open your mouth, your appearance speaks for you.

How you dress affects how others perceive you and how you see yourself. Once people get to know you, they may change their opinion of you despite how you look…but why risk it? Make it easy for them to have a good impression.

Even before actors are cast, they dress for auditions. A dozen or more actors may read for a part, so the competition is strong. If they know the role is that of a farmworker, they don’t come dressed in the hottest new fashions. If they hope to be cast as a biker, banker, or athlete, they wear a costume—street clothes that will subtly suggest the character they want to play. When Estelle Getty auditioned for The Golden Girls, she was told, “You are too young.” She returned dressed as the older character they wanted and was hired on the spot. Casting directors should be able to look at someone dressed like a Wall Street broker and imagine a trucker, or vice versa, but why make them work so hard and risk not being hired?

Once actors get the part, they know how important it is to create the right visual look for the character.

You should be aware of the intended and unintended messages that your clothes can send to your audience. Different groups have unspoken musts and no-no’s that indicate, “This person is one of us” or “This person should be ignored or even shunned.”

Just like film costumes, well-chosen clothes can conceal figure flaws, elevate your mood, and affect how you stand, sit, and walk. More conservative outfits usually require the restricted, subdued movements more suitable for formal and business situations, while soft, loose clothes allow dramatic gestures and more athletic strides. Depending on the scene being played, a star may require clothes that are wildly memorable or subtle and discreet.

In my business, part of my marketing strategy is to be noticed.

Patricia Fripp dressed to be noticed.

Although I would never wear a hat on stage, they are part of my costume at networking events. Hats get me noticed, and total strangers initiate conversation and remember me afterwards. They say, “Yes, I know Patricia Fripp. She’s the one who always wears great hats.”

Several years ago I delivered a speech wearing a custom-made Wonder Woman costume. I posed the question to the audience, “Is Wonder Woman a fictional character or a state of mind?” We concluded both. I then suggested that everyone needs their own version of a super-hero costume—something you wear to guarantee you’ll feel so good you know you’re going to succeed with the sale or get the promotion.

As you create the screenplay of your life, be sure to dress for the part you want to get and to be remembered for.

I hope these ideas will help get you promoted. Remember, Wonder Woman and Superman are both fictional characters and a state of mind.

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Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.

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