NOTE: As a female, I use female terms and examples, but MEN I'm sure you can use your creative imagination to spin this article in your direction.
Last year alone I bumbled through three dead end jobs.
Each job started the same, I looked killer during the interview, feeling great about myself and the new position. Even the first few weeks were okay. The uniforms, albeit uninspiring, were still crisp so I felt like I was wearing a costume, like dress up. But as the weeks grew into torturous months, my enthusiasm slumped dramatically... I found myself getting into arguments, me, the most agreeable and compromising "go with the flow" chick out there! I scraped myself out of bed each morning, throwing on the same sad, wrinkled uniform as the day before and seriously contemplating the day when I would just walk the fuck out.
If you can relate to this downward trend than you know that there are infinite reasons and articles explaining why this happens. But, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe your uniform is the issue?
What you wear affects your mood
It's a scientific fact.
According to Anna Akbari, a sociologist writing for DailyWorth.com, the Colors you wear affect your mood. Most work environments have a dark/neutral palette that could actually be making you depressed!
More interestingly, the Washington Post revealed that the Purpose of your clothes affect your performance. According to researchers Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam, how you feel about certain types of clothing or what it represents to you will actually change you while dressed in the clothing. The example they provided was an experiment where half a group was given doctor's lab coats, the other dressed in street clothes. Both groups were tested but the lap coat group tested higher. In the second experiment, the entire group was given lab coats but the first half were told they were artist smocks. When tested the lap coat group scored higher still! Because they associate lab coats with doctors and intelligence, they actually became more intelligent! I.e. if you feel like fast food uniforms are for underachievers, you're going to act like an underachiever. Fascinating stuff, right?
But as a girl who's been through a roller-coaster ride of hideous uniforms and restrictions, I've got one very important piece to the puzzle:
Clothing carries memories
Now this might sound a little new age or I don't know... hippieish at first, but let me break it down for you.
Remember the sweatshirt that you stole from your boyfriend because you loved how big it felt on you? It gave you comfort and love. Remember when you and the boyfriend broke up? You couldn't even look at that sweatshirt... or maybe worse, you secretly kept it and whenever you'd wear it, you'd feel how it felt to be with him. But... I thought it was just a sweatshirt, right? Exactly, it's not just a sweatshirt and it's not just a uniform. It's the physical place holder of the memories you made while in the clothing! Imagine if you were forced to wear your ex-boyfriend's shirt everyday? It'd be pretty darn hard to move on, wouldn't it?
That's what it feels like to wear a uniform. You're never able to stylistically "move on" from yesterday's failure or how last week's difficult customer made you feel about as small as a grain of salt. The memories build, accumulating in the threads until one day you look in the mirror and realize you hate your job, your life sucks and you want out of this joint! I think that's why fast food restaurants with very strict/specific (and ugly) uniforms have the highest employee turnover rate.
Is your mind blown yet?!?
So at this point you might be thinking... well, now what?
You didn't really think I'd just spew those bleak stats and leave? Wait... did you?
Well, you're wrong! I've compiled some excellent tips to help you reclaim the excitement you had in the early days to be one of the few, the proud, the employed.
1.Ask your boss or someone in charge about the parameters of the dress code
With this knowledge you can push right to the edge of your own stylistic expression without getting in trouble. Trust me, knowing that (A) you look amazing and (B) you're not in a box anymore will have you feeling 10x more excited to strut into work each day.
2. Find the most flattering (while still appropriate) version of your uniform
If you have to wear black pants but it doesn't matter what type, go for a pair of Skinny or the most flattering cut for your body type and shape.
I wore bow's and cute DIY headbands that matched my stores colors. The owners thought I was super dedicated and even joked that my headband should become an official part of the uniform.
4. Wear sexy underwear
Like I said, what you wear affects how you feel, and every woman feels super confident in lingerie! Trust me, every little bit counts.
5. Change jobs
Yes, get the fuck out of there! This is of course a last resort, but if you ever find yourself in a position where you're depressed, have no motivation and just truly hate your job--leave. The money, the whatever you think this job gives you isn't worth your soul!
Comment below about your work's dress code or uniform and how it makes you feel. Let us know if you've used our tips and if you see any improvement and we'll do a follow up article!
Share this with your friends and family struggling to stay motivated at their job
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