In honor of Love Month ... and going along the same theme as Teaching Working Girl's last post (nice one!) here's what I love most about my job:
NO DRESS CODE*.
"Eeets tha baste!" (Nacho Libre? Anyone?) Is PR typically like that, you ask? Hmm, not necessarily. It really depends on the agency, each one is so different. Although, the smaller boutique-y type of agencies tend to be more casual. Since I work in-house at a large company vs. at a PR agency, we follow the overall company's dress code guidelines. Luckily our brand skews the younger demographic and is super laid back, so our office environment embodies this great "come as you are" philosophy. I highly dig. Employees are encouraged to wear what's most comfortable to them, because at the end of the day what matters is that you get your work done, not what you wear.
My last job, however, was at a very large PR agency in Chicago where the dress code was business casual every day and formal business attire when clients were in the house. I would often tell myself that I enjoyed dressing up for work, but man, when you have to stop by the grocery store after work or run an errand at CVS, heels and nice clothes were a major pain. Finally, after a lot of prodding from employees, "casual Fridays" or "jeans Fridays" was born. But there were still really strict rules. There was even a secret dress code enforcer person who made his/her rounds through cube city every day policing the entire office to make sure no flip flops, sneakers or T-shirts had entered the building.
Ironically, this ended up not being such a good thing for me.
One Friday, my team had a big client in town, and I showed up to our meeting in jeans. I was still very put together and professional looking, mind you. My jeans were of the dark and skinny variety, I had on black peep-toe heels and a very nice well-taiored top. My boss, oh yeah, she came into the meeting with a full-on suit, a silky fucia top and big jewelry around her neck. As soon as she saw me, her eagle eye that never missed a thing looked me up and down. I could tell she was not happy.
After the meeting, she pulled me aside (oh no, please please please tell me I'm not fired) and tersely whispered that even though it was "casual Friday" we always dress up for the client. No ifs, ands or buts. I was mortified.
But you see, the tables have now turned. When folks from our PR agency come into the office for meetings all dressed up and dapper-looking, I can't help but smile at how ridiculous and uncomfortable they look while the rest of us, the client, are dressed in jeans, sweats and Uggs.
*OK, OK, OK guys. It's a day later and I realize this post makes it sound like I come to work each day looking--and smelling--like a homeless slob. Haha. Not true. It's the option to wear something very loose and comfortable (such as on a Friday before a long holiday weekend) or a cute, planned out outfit (which I shoot for most days) that I love about not having a dress code. Cool? OK. Now get back to work.