When I first trained as an Image Consultant in 2001, the business world was more formal. Dark, stiff suits were the order of the day for men and women. Times have changed. The dark suit is still required and worn in traditional corporate settings. Elsewhere dress standards have relaxed.
Still those who do business with you expect you to look and act professionally. A polished professional image gives the impression that you know what you are doing and will treat your customer efficiently and respectfully.
Today’s main article points come from ‘The Polished Professional’ eBook. The seven steps are about your dress as, from what others see of you, your dress determines 55% of the judgment they make of you.
Use these tips to help you, a Baby Boomer woman, learn and practise the skill of a polished professional image.
Next time you meet someone for the first time, take a mental note of how you feel about that person. Then analyse how much of that impression you formed was through their dress, their behaviour, their grooming, their gestures etc. practise analysing at least one person every few days and you’ll soon discover that in image management all factors work together to create a polished professional image.
Select Five People You Know That Dress Well
Think about their appearance and how they are usually dressed. Look at how they dress, groom and accessorise themselves to enhance their professional image. Write down what you have noticed and see how you can apply thee to the way you present yourself.
Think about what you have learned and how you dress, act and groom yourself. What things can you think of that would enhance your image? Find someone you trust and ask them what areas of your image they think needs changing or improving. Accept whatever they say with grace. Remember! You asked for their opinion.
Every day take something different that you wear and study it in detail. This could be a suit, shoes, lipstick or accessory. Improve on it. Change it. Combine it with something else for a new look. Buy an appropriate but different look next time you shop. Find out what works and what doesn’t and work out why.
See an Image Consultant
This is by far the best and most cost effective way to perfect your image. It will cost you less in money, time and stress than the process of trial and error. (Whether it is myself or someone else, it is the ‘Aha’ moments that move you faster towards your goals.)
Read books, newspapers, magazines and Blogs. Watch videos or YouTube. Listen to takes. Study the media. All of these are excellent ways to upgrade your knowledge when it comes to professional dressing and staying current.
Dare to Ask
‘How do I look?’ This is the simplest way to get feedback. Don’t be shy. Ask those you trust and admire. People in most cases will be honest with you. However, don’t make a nuisance of yourself by asking the same question day-in and day-out. (MY TIP – Ask in private, one-on-one. Do not ask when you are in a group situation. Most people are too polite in a group to give you the answers you need to improve your professional image.)
The ‘Polished Professional eBook for Women’ is a TAIC product. As I am one of their trained Image Consultants you can purchase the eBook through my website for $25.00 by clicking here.
There is also a ‘Polished Professional Men’s eBook’ available for $25.00 by clicking here.
(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)