After years of making snide remarks about how ridiculous it was that Donna Reed wore high heels and pearls to vacuum, I think I finally understand.
Donna Reed was the first person to ever completely practice the “Dress for Success” challenge that we hear so much about when talking to young people about navigating the job market. Dress for Success is one of the mottoes behind school uniforms that incorporate dress shirt and tie for young men. I am still not certain how a plaid skirt helps young women dress for success – but that is a completely different discussion. I do know that in her day, Donna Reed certainly knew how to dress for success.
In this world of networking and job acquisition being as much about who you know and timing, as what you know, dressing for success is crucial. As tempting as it may be to don jeans and a sweatershirt, dressing at least to the Casual Friday standard could be to your advantage. Donna Reed, regardless of who knocked on the door, was prepared for the task at hand. Donna was never going to be caught off guard.
So whether you meet a recruiter, a hiring manager, or the CEO of the company you have been trying to connect with – at the local Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, or Panera – you will be ready. Dressed for success and business card in hand, rather than excusing your appearance…
Of course, at the local sports event or the beach – maybe just the business card needs to be handy. Did Donna Reed ever go to a Bears game or the lake?