How to Survive In Corporate American With Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks in the business world attract much attention. Co-worker, managers, and others may not understand or have misconceived beliefs about the unique hairstyle. This, in turn, could cause communication problems, avoidance, and misunderstanding against the person with dreadlocks. By proving yourself a hardworking and positive contribution to the company helps others recognize your contributions and not judge your hairstyle.

Here are tips to help you survive any job or 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. Work long hours and extra time when the job or task needs it. 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. Take time to learn about your company, its culture, long and short-term goals, and your responsibilities to help reach 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. Make sure your clothes are clean, winkle-free, and fashionable according to the office dress codes. 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. Keep current on the changes in your industry and upgrade your skills match your industry's standards. 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. Always try to end all conversations on a positive note. 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. Most managers know who the gossipers are. 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. As the motivator Les Brown says "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. Decorate your office with positive pictures, posters, books, and quotations. Develop an attitude of gratitude for your job.

Start today on making yourself more valuable to your company with your dreadlock hairstyle. Leave a mark of excellence in everything you do. 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 for more information of living successfully with dreadlocks.

This article was published on 30 Apr 2008 and has been viewed 1256 times
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