Articles From the Team

Success – a shoe-in

I learnt many things at school, beyond the obvious. One lesson stayed with me more than the rest. Like any fearless, carefree teen, the state of my shoes was very low in my priority list. This was until the state of my unloved shoes were brought into contention by my year leader.

He called me over and said quietly “you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his shoes”. I laughed awkwardly, not really appreciating just how true this was. Now, it’s something that I consider fundamental to career success, particularly throughout the interview process.

Even today, during my daily commute into the city, I see so many business men and women in expensive suits, power ties or with expensive handbags, but what is overlooked time and time again, is the state of their shoes. Whether its scuff marks, mud, broken laces, worn heals or even holes in the sole, people continually underestimate the psychological impact this has on future employers and colleagues alike.

Apparently, my year leader was onto something as “recent studies have shown that polished shoes are a major factor of perceived ability in the workplace”. So consider an interview with a prospective law firm where your first impression is made within the first few seconds, even before any words are spoken, can only support my view that a properly polished pair of formal shoes is critical to interview success.

Of course, loved shoes aren’t the only route to success, nor the magic formula to securing your dream legal job. It’s something that is subtle, understated, shows forethought, attention to detail and confidence, surely a great first impression to give?

So, next time you are choosing your interview attire and doing all your research on the prospective law firm, spare a thought for your shoes, they say much more than you may realise and may just make the difference at interview.

For more information please contact Paul Warburton or visit our website BCL Legal.


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