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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Grooming Tips for Office Guys

I’ve been working for many years now, at many different levels. I’ve been a lowly trainee, entry level staff, mud-caked contractor, holier-than-thou consultant, middle management to manager (well, sort of).

To all those guys just starting work or going to, here’s some personal grooming advice that may seem corny, but will help you a lot in your job in the long run (and believe me, it will).

Shave everyday – Yes, this is corny and you may think that your office doesn’t really mind these minor issues; I work as a graphic designer, etc. I’ve been guilty of this at least once every week. But guess what, most Malaysians don’t look great in 3-day old stubble. Even if you don’t deal with clients or outsiders, shaving everyday gives an image of good personal hygiene; not shaving basically says you’re lazy and messy.

Iron your shirts – Before you say you don’t have time to iron, let me just say the sight of a creased shirt is off-putting enough to warrant you to do it. In my previous job a senior manager came down from the HQ to interview the staff and audit the site office morale. He was snooty and spoke in this faux Queen’s English accent, but his RM200 shirt looked like it came from the laundry basket. If you’re really that busy, buy those non-crease shirts. Besides, girls dig smart and neat dudes.

Dress smartly - This is in relation to the earlier one. Unless you work in an architectural or advertising where dressing properly is a heinous crime, you must always make an attempt to dress smartly. That means no jeans, no T-shirts, no parachute pants (those pants with pockets at side of the knees, usually worn by electricians), no army pants, no sandals, etc. My previous manager at the construction wore neat long sleeved shirts and slacks everyday to work, even though he spent like 6 hours a day under the sun or 4 inches in the mud. It gives the perception of authority and discipline, and besides it would be presentable to greet any visitor or person of authority entering the site.

Wear clean shoes and good socks – I’m also always guilty of this. Suddenly you are required to go somewhere where you have to take off your shoes (carpeted office, Japanese restaurant, etc) nobody wants to see your smelly socks with your toes sticking out of holes. My boss is also a stickler for clean, shiny shoes.

Being well groomed isn’t about spending a lot of money, its about taking good care of what you have and buying the right quality.




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