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The Professional Dress Code and Networking

It will be necessary to start with the outward appearance, first and foremost. You might find it hard to believe, but we have had to explain that even in the workplace during summer, one should not bare their armpits and should wear something with sleeves, even if short. Tank top straps should be at least 4 cm wide, but it's better to have sleeves.

Why is this so important? Because armpits are intimate areas, whereas bare legs are seen as sexy. Everything depends on your professional ambitions.

The height of refinement in work attire is Business Formal.

It's when you dress according to the dress to impress code. This is an upgrade from your everyday professional image, suitable for important meetings where you need to give the impression of someone "who controlls everything," as well as for receptions: cocktail parties, solemn ceremonies, award presentations, and networking events organized by the Monaco Economic Board, for example.

In these cases, men wear suits in dark shades from a wide range of Blue, with shirts and silk ties in all colors (without a tie in summer, ok). Cufflinks and silk or linen pocket squares can always complement the overall look.

For women, this could mean a comfortable suit, either pants or a skirt, and preferably closed-toe heels. No event related to business in any way tolerates open heels, especially at the back.

Remember that it is your company sending you to networking events as its representative, and the impression you leave will directly impact its image.

Let's outline the ideal scenario for your first arrival at such an event.

You make your entrance with confidence, entering a room full of people you do not know, and the first thing you must do is mark your presence. To stand out, you need to walk through the door, take a few steps, and stop.

Avoid heading straight to the bar or buffet where your hands will immediately be occupied. Take a moment to orient yourself and feel comfortable in your surroundings.

If you feel uneasy and tense, avoid looking at people because a discerning eye will notice your state of mind instantly. Remember that your hands betray what your body feels, so refrain from loading them with food and drink hastily.

Survey the space, look all around, and identify someone among the crowd whom you find approachable and would like to speak with. Use your observational skills.

Focus on this person, from the perspective of non-verbal communication, and if you see that they are available, approach them confidently. Look them in the eye, smile, and say, "Hello Madame/Monsieur! May I join you? My name is (your name)."

Here, you must be very attentive. Your name is obvious to you but not to the world.

Pay particular attention to articulation and pronounce your name correctly. If asked to repeat it, apply yourself even more. When your interlocutor introduces themselves, repeat their name. Firstly, this will help you remember it and secondly, it shows consideration on your part.

Remember that you are approaching someone "to assist and be assisted."

Because it's all very simple. Most people are there for the same reason as you. Observe a little to see who is less busy than others and make contact with them. Remember: wait at least 20 minutes before going to the buffet.

Recall that the champagne glass should remain in the left hand so that the right hand remains free.

After observing all around you carefully, make a decision, make contact, and start a conversation. Show that you know how to listen, asking the right questions that lead to concrete information, and at the end of the interview (which you should not let last longer than fifteen minutes), say the magic phrase "May I?" - and you will may. Before leaving, be sure to express how pleased you were to have met this person.

To end the conversation with style, you can confidently declare, "That's a powerful thing to walk away with," if during the conversation your interlocutor has shared interesting information with you.

"May I have your business card?" - this is the right question to ask before offering your own contact details. "With your permission, here's mine" - this is the logical follow-up to the conversation. In your cardholder, there are two compartments: one for your own business cards and the other for those given to you. It would be very awkward to give your interlocutor someone else's business card.

Are you allergic and about to sneeze? Cover your mouth with your left hand and, before it happens, turn to the side. It would be even better to move away. Then, go wash your hands.

At such networking venues, even if you are supposed to hold a position at McDonald's, you must be properly dressed, in "Business Professional" attire, as everyday attire diminishes you somewhat. While remaining professional, you don't necessarily wear your best suit and shiniest shoes every day.

Remember that nothing in your attire should invite comments, becoming a distracting factor that could detract from achieving a specific goal. This includes flashy jewelry, extravagant handbags, and shoes with eccentric soles.

The daily business suit for a businessman should be in shades of gray or blue. Men typically wear brown suits when commuting. In all cultural codes, it is advisable to avoid black. Here again, you may be surprised. In Monaco's commercial professional circles, there is a certain preference for black. So, if you feel like it, in Monaco, no one will judge you.

"Business Casual" is the wonderful dress code that does not require a tie. Here, you can wear shirts, sweaters, jackets, and trousers. But you cannot wear T-shirts and jeans, as you would in "Casual," for example. What you need to know about this dress code is that, when you work, it doesn't mean you are poorly dressed. You can wear tailored pants, shirts, blouses, and thick-soled shoes.

Here's a tip. Some specialists and trainers advise dressing according to the position you aspire to, not your current rank. In Monaco, this works very well.

Regarding business etiquette, there is another rule regarding attire. Shiny bracelets and flashy jewelry should all stay at home or in your handbag, waiting for evening outings.

Let's be frank: sometimes, this advice is forgotten in Monaco.

Sincerely yours,

Anastasia Shevchenko


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