When you walk into a networking event and meet people for the first time, do they think you are confident, credible and successful in your field, or do you spend most of your time convincing them of your capabilities? Like it or not, our appearances affect how others perceive us.
Recently, I attended an event where a guest shared a story about his chiropractor. The guest noticed during one of his visits that the doctor was dressed differently. The doctor usually wore a polo shirt with casual pants and clog style shoes but, on this particular appointment, the doctor was wearing a dress shirt and tie with slacks, formal shoes and his lab coat. His sport coat was hanging in his office. Since this type of attire was out of character for the doctor, the patient asked if he had an event that day or some other special occasion. The doctor replied that he did not have an event or special occasion but that he had decided to dress this way every day. Curious, the patient inquired about the change. The doctor shared with the patient that he had attended a seminar where he learned that his appearance affects the way his patients perceive him. If he wanted to be seen as credible and successful in his field he needed to step up his appearance. He was told if he is a doctor, then he needs to look like a doctor.
Whether you are a doctor, lawyer or sales executive your appearance plays an important role in your career success. Here are some tips that can help you enhance yours.
1. Evaluate your existing wardrobe. What do your clothes sat about you? Do they communicate confidence, credibility and success?
2. Evaluate what the most successful people in your industry dress like and take it up one level.
3. Improve the quality of the clothing you have in your closet. It is better to have fewer high quality pieces than to have a closet packed full of clothes. Your sport coat or suit needs to fit you perfectly in the shoulders, back and waist. Trousers need to be hemmed and everything needs to be pressed or steamed.
4. Save the clogs, crocks, flip-flops or any other casual footwear for the weekend. This type of footwear is not appropriate for business.
5. Grooming is imperative. Invest in a professional hairstyle and make up lesson. Leaving the house with wet hair or hair in a ponytail with no make up says, “I am not serious about my career development.”
Just making a few changes can make all the difference in the way you come across to others. It will also make you feel a lot more confident! Give me a call or pop me an email if you feel you need some help getting started.