I recently volunteered for a United Way project to assist with a clothes closet, resume critiquing and interview preparation for those in need.  We had our introductory meeting last week, and it gave me a whole new perspective on the level of assistance those we would be working with will require.

As we discussed the clothes closet, my mind automatically went to “suits.”  If not a full suit, at least professional dress and office-worthy attire.  While that is part of the need, the most in-demand item: a white shirt and black pants for temporary catering work.  Other requests:  steel-toe boots, black/plain hoodies for working outdoors or in refrigerated areas, and a red shirt to work at Target.  Never did I even consider that a wearing a sweatshirt would be dressing for success, but learned that success requires different dress depending on the job!

How can you get outside your comfort zone and walk the proverbial mile in another man’s shoes?  You may quickly learn those coveted stilettos get kicked to the curb by a steel-toe boot, and all your pre-conceived notions go with them.

— beth triplett

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