Corporate America and the rest of the business world may not have a good understanding for dreadlocks. The unique hairstyle is popular and an attention grabber. However, someone with dreadlocks could face avoidance, hear negative statements, or not respected as part of the team.
To survive in Corporate American or any job with dreadlocks, you must commit to hard work, persistence, and dedication to excellence. You can’t change or control the actions of others but you do have total control over how you react and perform.
These tips will help you excel and succeed in your job of career with dreadlocks:
– Believe in yourself. Regardless of what happens during the workday, keep confidence in yourself strong. Those who hired you believe in your skills to help the company or department meet goals. Stay focused on that purpose.
– Be professional and dedicated. “Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it, and doing it,” quotes Frank Tyger. In essence, this means doing what the company hired you to do at the best of your abilities. Make a habit of creating to-do lists everyday and complete many tasks as possible.
– Build strong working relationships with coworkers. Be friendly with everyone in the company and be a part of the team. Have a positive attitude to be more approachable and easy to work with.
– Have good work ethics. Put in the long hours or extra time when needed. And don’t complain when you have to work beyond your standard hours. Take pride in your work and leave a statement of success in every task you complete.
– Be on time. Get to work on time, or better, five to ten minutes before. Punctuality is important to managers and co-workers. It shows your respect for others who depend on the work you do.
– Know your company. Be knowledgeable about the company, its goals, and how your skills will help achieve those goals. Visit the company’s website often, attend all meetings, and ask questions that will give you a better understanding of your role in the company.
– Dress well. Your clothes should always be neat and pressed. Make sure you follow the company dress code. Shine your shoes and groom your dreadlocks. Men should wear long dreadlocks in a ponytail behind the head. Women are more flexible. A loctician or image consultant can help you create a professional business hairstyle with dreadlocks.
– Underpromise and overdeliver. Never take on more than you can handle and research your tasks thoroughly. It’s always better to wow your co-workers and boss by doing more than to apologize for not delivering on time.
– Improve your skills continuously. Know the advances occurring in your industry and keep your skills upgraded to match them. Sign up for online courses, use computer based training (CBT) CDs, and attend seminars about your job or career.
– Stay positive no matter what. Keep track of what you say to you and others. End conversations on a positive note and action step. Never say you cannot perform a task, but rather, you will find a way to resolve the issue.
– Work gossip-free. Do not gossip with co-workers and keep your life personal. Walk away, change the subject, or state you don’t like talking about others when someone tries to gossip with you. If gossipers talk to you about others, they also talk about you to others. Everyone knows the person who gossips the most. Be careful.
– Learn the art of listening. You have two ears and one mouth, try to listen more than you speak. When someone approach you for help, advice, inspiration, or anything work related, always give them your full attention with eye to eye contact. If you can’t fully attend to the person at the minute for any reason, it is better to reschedule the conversation.
– Limit alcohol consumption at company events. Drinking alcohol creates alter egos you may not want co-workers to know about. Also, drunken people make statements about dreadlocks, play with your hair, or ask silly questions making you feel uncomfortable.
– Expect some people to dislike your dreadlocks. Do not worry about their thoughts of you or your life. Les Brown, the motivator, quotes “What others think of you is none of your spiritual business.” Remember, you are on a mission to be the best you can be.
– Stay motivated for success. Take spiritual time everyday to appreciate who your are and the gifts you have to offer. Keep a place in your work area for family pictures, how-to books, and calendars. Develop an attitude of gratitude for your job.
Start today on making yourself more valuable to your company with your dreadlock hairstyle. Do the best job you can possibly do for every task. When co-workers and managers see your dreadlocks, they will also see a person dedicated to the success of the company, their job, and the team.
Jeffery Bradley is the author of “Don’t Worry Be Nappy! How to Grow Dreadlocks and Still Get Everything You Want”. Visit HowToGrowDreadlocks.com for more information of living successfully with dreadlocks.