A Dress is Not Just a Dress

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Like many female journalists today (come to think of it, let me change that to females, period), I’ve cultivated a shameless addiction to celebrity gossip. One of my favorite things to do is cruise eonline.com and thesuperficial.com for pictures of what the top-star names are wearing to all of the premieres, concerts, charity balls and assorted oh-so-fabulous events that make up celebrity life. Of course, in addition to showcasing the season’s hottest fashions, these pictorials are frequently riddled with bitchy judgments. You know the type: “What was she thinking?” “Is her stylist blind?” Or a recent favorite, “If we had a pair of scissors maybe we could make this look work.”

IT career development is kind of like a couture dress. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss, but regardless of opinion/outcome, you will make a statement. For all you non-fashionistas, couture is roughly defined as the business of designing, making and selling highly fashionable, usually custom-made clothing for women (thefreedictionary.com). The reason I draw a fairly straight line between these two seemingly disparate industries is because like IT, fashion is always changing. Also like IT, there are unlimited opinions on what’s best for the industry and, more importantly, what’s best for you.

The true fashionista will never allow another person to dictate what she wears. She knows instinctively or through trial and error what looks good on her, and she spurns trends to create a style all her own. If you’re confused about the direction of your IT career, and even more confused by all the different advice you’ve received while asking for help, you might want to step back and took a good hard look at the fit of your current dress/job. Examine the industry hot spots of interest, and then listen to what your gut tells you. If the average celebrity worried about whether E! would give them four stars for an outfit, most would never leave the house. It’s up to you to make the ultimate “fashionable” career judgment.

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