For today’s leaders, this is especially important to remember: first impressions count. How you portray yourself in the workplace matters, whether it’s in a professional or casual environment. People make quick judgments about your skills, credibility, and likability based on your look alone.
Modern professionals have a plethora of options in comparison to those in the “dress for success” period. Norms have developed and diversified throughout time. The efficacy of formal t-shirts, red sneakers, and a Dupont lighter in hand to portray social status depends on the context in which they are worn. Executives in their 50s at a Chinese manufacturer may have different corporate image goals than their younger New York City-based partners at an advertising firm.
Despite being the least stuffy generation, millennials seem to be the most self-aware of their look and how others perceive them. As a result, you may feel lost. Nevertheless, here are some tips to take your corporate image to the next level:
You must decide whether now is the right time.
Upgrades to one’s image can be especially useful at times of change, such as when one is seeking a new job, taking on a new or more public position, or switching workplaces. Now can be an excellent time to make a change if you’re going through a transition or simply feeling stuck. If you are unsure, seek the opinions of people you trust, such as friends, coworkers, and experts. Find out how other people see you by paying attention to how they treat you. There may not be any urgency to update, and that’s fine.
Develop a sense of perspective.
Identify the specific change you want to bring about. Would you want to start again with your image or change directions? It might be that one individual wants to be taken extra seriously in their professional endeavors. Another reason might be to seem friendlier or more up-to-date and fashionable. If you’re making the transition from banking to advertising, you may want to adopt a more “SoHo” style.
Read between the lines to get the whole picture.
Analyze your workplace as if you were an anthropologist. In your culture, what do people typically expect of you? What makes a person seem important? That is, who are your prime target areas? How do the individuals you admire and respect carry themselves in public? The more your proficiency in the culture’s background, the more influence you’ll have on your effect.
Consult with experts.
Seek expert help and explain your current situation and goals to them. Use a grooming service or hire a personal stylist. Instead of going to a barber, why not try a stylist? Instead of relying on a relative or friend, hire a professional photographer. Instead of using a random pen to write down all the notes, why not write it with a pen, such as Parker, to make an impact? It’s more affordable than you may expect.
In a Nutshell
Although it may seem little, a boost to one’s corporate image may have a significant effect on their self-perception. Thus, paying attention to your personal style is beneficial to boost your influence as a business executive or leader.