Years ago when I started in my career everyone who was a professional wore a suit and carried a briefcase. Now business casual, working from home, and social media have changed how we dress for success and act inside and outside the workplace.
I think people don’t realize how public their lives are and just how many people are paying attention. When I hire a new court reporter, I want to be sure you’re a reflection not only of our agency but on yourself as a professional. That means more than showing up and doing the job.
You’ve spent time and money on court reporting school. It’s time to look the part!
I am no fashionista but I know that jeans and t-shirts are not appropriate to wear to court or a deposition. My recommendation is to look the part of someone who has passed a bar exam. Even if the attorney you’re working with wears shorts and t-shirts, it’s a good reflection on your professionalism to dress in business attire.
- Starched shirt or blouse, never t-shirt.
- Skirt or dress pants, never jeans.
- Blazer, suit jacket, or fitted sweater.
- Dress shoes, never sneakers.
Looking your best is just part of success.
How you dress is just as important quality of a great court reporter as it is to be on time for meetings. We’ve all had days that don’t go our way. There’s a family emergency at home or traffic jams. It’s how you deal with those and plan ahead next time that matters.
- Pick out your clothes out the night before so you’re not wasting time selecting an outfit in the morning.
- Check GPS and traffic reports to avoid accidents and delays.
- Have a plan in place for kids, grandkids, and pets so everyone is taken care of even if you’re away from home for an extended period of time.
It’s truly the details that reflect back on you as a court reporter.
Success isn’t just about the clothes you wear or your punctuality, it’s about how you speak and act. This is especially true when you’re with a client or on social media. What you say reflects on you. Good or bad, it can greatly impact your career.
Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee of the court, be proud and take note of how you’re acting both at work and at home. It can be tempting to rant about a client or post photos of your latest weekend but I recommend you refrain. Ask yourself if you’d want what you’re doing to be seen or heard by a client. You might make different decisions.
Whether you’re in Oklahoma City or somewhere else, we can all do our part to reflect a professional level of success in court reporting.