Whether you’re an employer or an employee, chances are you’ve heard the theory that you only have a seven second window to make a good impression when you meet someone for the first time. While a great first impression will certainly boost your chances of getting a new job, the same technique does not necessarily transfer over when you’re working on a promotion. Instead, long-term employees looking to re-establish their personal brand must seek out ways to upgrade their professional image through careful self-reflection and consideration of office expectations.
Update Your Wardrobe
Are you dressing for the job you have, or the job you want? While cliche, this particular piece of advice is repeated among professionals so frequently because it is just that – a solid piece of advice. The clothes you choose to wear are a big representation of how you view your personal brand. If you’re coming into work everyday wearing clothes that are dirty, old or the wrong size, you’re sending subliminal messages to your supervisors that you don’t care about presenting yourself professionally.
When updating your wardrobe, first consider the dress code expectations of your office. More and more, offices are implementing casual dress codes. While some offices deem it perfectly acceptable to wear jeans, remember that “casual business attire,” is not synonymous with wearing an old t-shirt. If your office does allow for casual wear, it’s a good idea to invest in clothing that you can wear exclusively to the office. This ensures that it remains both professional and appropriate. If you’re not confident in your abilities to update your wardrobe yourself, then consider hiring a professional stylist. Their job is to make sure you look and feel your best, and they will help you choose outfits that will leaving you feeling comfortable and confident.
Upgrade Your Grooming Routine
While we don’t have a lot of control on our physical appearances, we do have some influence on how we present ourselves. Presenting yourself professionally is not only about what you wear, but also how groom yourself. Ladies, make sure your makeup enhances your natural features, and try to avoid products that are dark or cakey. Your makeup routine should be relatively simple and efficient, so that even on days when you’re running late, you’re still able to look your best at the office. Gentlemen, it’s important to ensure that your facial hair is aligned with your ideal professional image. That doesn’t mean you have to go into the office completely clean shaven. However, if you are going to have facial hair, invest in a good razor and commit to consistently ensuring your beard is kept trimmed and neat.
Clean Up Your Online Profiles
70% of employers are checking on their candidates social media pages before they even get an interview. While you may already have the job, a good rule of thumb is to keep your online presence as clean as jobseekers. That doesn’t mean you can’t update your instagram with your weekend activities, but make sure your privacy settings are intact. It’s also a good idea to avoid letting your supervisors and coworkers follow your private pages. There are platforms, such as LinkedIn, that allow for professional interactions with your coworkers with minimal damage to your personal brand.
Improve Your Posture
Your body language has a huge impact on both your confidence levels and how your coworkers perceive you. If your posture is poor and slouched while you’re giving a presentation, you will be conveying a sense of discomfort to your audience; which in turn will distract from your intended message. Be diligent in improving your posture by sitting up straight while you’re sitting at work. Not only will you save yourself from back pain, but your coworkers will think of you as more confident and able.
While it isn’t easy to change your professional image, it’s certainly not impossible. Much like most life improvements, the secret to upgrading your professional image is to commit to a plan and stick with it. Your personal brand is an essential key to your career success, and if you’re not actively looking to improve it, then you are selling yourself short.
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