How it Started, How It's Going
Early in my career I followed this advice:
"Dress for the job you want, not the job you have"
I was a junior employee who dressed like a TV lawyer - pencil skirts and high heels - while most employees wore jeans and a sweater.
Some people thought I was crazy & weird, the rest didn't care.
It was odd, but it was my secret weapon.
You see, it wasn't about the clothes, it was about how the clothes made me feel:
Anyone I've ever seen wearing these clothes (admittingly only on TV) was a strong confident women, so whenever I wore the clothes, I assumed the same role.
This went on for a few years, until I realized I didn't need the clothes to be a confident and competent women, I already had all these qualities. I didn't need to play a role, or put on a costume, I could be who I wanted to be and still command a room.
I'm happy I gained the confidence I needed, but I know it's not easy, especially early in your career. It's not a switch you can turn on, it's a process you need to go through to learn who you are and what you are capable of.
In retrospect, I think it was good advice.
It made me realize we don't need to have it all figured out from the get go.
It's okay "fake it until I make it" whatever that may look like.