The right image is the first step toward your professional success. Needless to say, it consists not only of expensive clothes and well-chosen perfume, as some experts mistakenly believe. It's a real Rubik's Cube! Today, we will take a closer look at all its sides.
Stage 1. Selecting clothing
The very first impression of us is formed in a split second. Appearance (clothing, skin, hair, mimic) plays a major role here. We promise - obvious rules like "brush your teeth" and "get up in the morning" will not be touched.
- Follow the dress code adopted by your industry and function
If you work as a developer in an IT organization, your relaxed clothing style won't surprise fellow programmers at other companies. But if you manage the technical support department at the same firm, you will have to dress more officially: as you are the manager, carelessly selected clothes can hurt the impression you make. You should always remember this, even if your company does not have a dress code at all. Be oriented not just to the workplace, but to the entire industry.
- Build the industry's dress code and features into your style
You probably know what style of dress suits you best. Think about how you can build the unspoken dress code requirements into that style, and figure out which brands you're already familiar with to find the right clothes. It will be easier for you to find the right wardrobe items that would suit your style and dress code if you know the list of stores offering the right clothes.
What should I do if my industry has a very strict dress code?
You should match it during working hours and don't mix your style with your employer's clothing requirements.
- Pay attention to the details
But not too much. Matching a shirt and cufflinks according to the shades of daylight is too much. To make sure that the coat is free of your dog's fur, the boots are filled, and the sleeves of the dress are ironed without "stitching" is what is called professionalism.
Stage 2. Getting to know the rules of business etiquette
The first impression needs to be maintained. That's why we remind you of the rules of business etiquette that can enhance your image.
- Punctuality. Just never be late. This is often the problem of beginners. Be wiser. Yes, you can warn that you're standing in an endless traffic jam, but it's better to just arrive on time or in advance.
- Ability to conduct business correspondence. It differs from personal messages to colleagues and family members, and in Western companies in general it is one of the mandatory soft skills that are tested when hired.
- No familiarity. You might have known your colleagues for several years, but within the office (or its remote replacement in the form of chats and emails) it is important to adhere to the basic rules of business communication.
- Meeting deadlines. Here, no explanations are required. You know exactly that you must meet the deadlines.
- Separate your work and personal life. Do not tell colleagues about the problems at your children's school, or about the search for a new apartment for your auntie. Don't gossip or engage in corporate intrigue. Believe us, it may cost you a lot.
- "Clean" social media accounts. Recruiters always study them. Either "close" accounts (you can do this on Vkontakte, Twitter and Instagram) or post only to friends (this feature is available on Facebook and Vkontakte). Preferably, your friend list should not include colleagues who dream of overtaking you on the career ladder. Another option not to fall under HR's "supervision" is to create a pseudonym for closed accounts or so-called private profiles "just for your own".
- The right relationship with your partners. Do not disclose trade secrets, do not tell the intricacies of your job, and do not share what could potentially harm your negotiations in the future. Think a few steps ahead! A partner is primarily a business project, not a best friend.
Stage 3. Skills development
Your skills are directly related to your professional image! If you do not know how to communicate and build relationships, it will not be possible to create the right image that works for you. Which of your skills are worth honing today?
- The ability to listen to a colleague and hear their suggestions/questions and then work together on a project.
- The ability to deal with problems in a cool and efficient manner (that is until they are resolved).
- Critical thinking, sound judgment, analytics, and information validation skills.
- Advanced emotional intelligence (empathy, non-verbal sign tracking).
- The willingness to learn new things, often complex, and sometimes even frightening. Sometimes on your own.
The three components described above ensure you create the right professional image. However, its maintenance is entirely up to the quality of the work you are doing!