Tue, Jul 12, 2016
I was a sleepwalker who was spontaneous and lived in the moment, nothing wrong with “Living in the moment” but be sure you know and understand exactly what that means.
Before studying Image Consultancy, I had a long list of meaningless accolades, A Chartered Accountant, Ultra Marathon Runner, Former Head of Internal Audit, the list is endless. I was earning approximately M30,000 ($2,030) but I usually blew it up as if it’s M30 ($2). I was a sleepwalker who was spontaneous and lived in the moment, there is nothing wrong with “Living in the moment” but be sure you know and understand exactly what that means.
I got to understand the psychology of financial literacy while I was on the journey of wardrobe planning. I learned the importance of a balanced mind, understanding emotion and understanding information. Most of us youth cannot balance emotion and information, that is why others are not nailing those job interviews, others not being promoted, others not sealing deals and getting customers. This has led to this pandemic of graduates who are unemployable, which was declared a national crisis by His Majesty King Letsie III at the inauguration of the Vice-Chancellor (Law Professor Nqosa Mahao) of the National University of Lesotho.
Let me break down the process of wardrobe planning; just like an interior designer draws a house plan considering where the sunshine starts and ends in the house, wardrobe planning requires equally strong analytical skills. It involves analysis of your body shape, colors that suit you, personality and lifestyle analysis to name a few. As an illustration, using the concept of classic items, clothes that you invest in, which of those would you have worn five years ago and which would you wear in five years time? If you have grey and navy blue suits, ten shirts as a man, you can make them your office uniform. You shop with both emotions and information, this saves time therefore money, which as we all know, is honey.
This extract from CNN7 helps put the importance of the art of wardrobe management in perspective:
"President Obama says he always wears grey and navy blues suits as part of his secret to getting much done otherwise he would suffer from decision fatigue. “"You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can't be going through the day distracted by trivia." – President
What's most illuminating is how "decision memos" get delivered to his desk with three checkboxes at the bottom:
• let's discuss
This is effective because, like always wearing the same suit, the checkboxes impose simplicity. While the decisions are obviously complex—how else do they end up at the desk of the president—creating three choices speeds up the feedback loop. Rather than submitting an essay test for each problem, the president can opt for multiple choice."
Most of us have hobbies which we plan and execute consistently, yet we are unemployed and not business minded. That's because we are not aware that we already possess planning and other leadership skills from our hobbies. When planning your wardrobe is analogous to executing your hobbies, you use same skills which can then be utilize at work to be successful.
Bringing in financial jargon into this picture, once a year carry out zero based budgeting by spring cleaning your wardrobe to remember each item. Then half yearly, carry out incremental budgeting to see clothes which are still in good condition and items that need to be replaced or fixed. This teaches you analytical skills, time management, numeracy and financial planning.
Wardrobe planning is a metaphor for planning and it is critical in helping Basotho graduates to be employable and marketable.
Moratuoa Hlongwa is the Director of Image Evolution Lesotho.