Career Files: What an HR Professional in the Tech Industry Wears to Work

Zena Thomas

Career Title/Company:
HR Professional at Symplicity Corporation

A bit about what you do:
I'm an HR professional at a tech company in Arlington, Virginia. I support employees and managers in a variety of ways. I'm involved in everything from orientation, to benefits administration, compensation, training and development, and performance management. I love helping employees be successful at work.

How would you describe your signature work style?
I work in a very casual environment. Tech companies generally don't have or enforce dress codes. My guidance to employees is that our culture is laid back but appropriate. Personally, I tend to dress more business casual on Mondays when I'm welcoming new employees. I would describe my style as classic but simple. I like to just get up and go, so I tend stick with the formula of a dress plus blazer or cardigan. This allows me express myself with a variety of dress styles and then I can tone it down with a solid color blazer or sweater. Every other day of the week I stick to jeans, a cute sleeveless shirt, flats and my favorite jean jacket.

What are you wearing in this photo?
A shift dress from Old Navy online and the jacket is from Papaya.

How does what you wear help you to set an example for other employees?
While I work in a casual environment, I try to set the example of dressing for the occasion. I dress my best on the days when I know I'm client facing and I want to set the best first impression. When I know that I'll be in front of the computer most of the day, I dress more relaxed. That's what I want my professional style to convey.