What a joy that I still work regularly with companies in every industry on ways to project a strong presence and personal brand.
It’s a timeless topic and since 1981 I’ve been writing and presenting Professional Presence workshops. So, why is your presence – your Brand – so important?
Here are a few things to consider:
• We cannot NOT communicate by what we wear. We are evaluated by what we wear before we ever speak a word. Recruiters know that. Job seekers learn that. And successful professionals understand that.
• From the tip of our heads to the bottom of our shoes, everything we wear makes a statement. Our hair style (is it current?), our clothing (is it appropriate?), our accessories (are they too much?) and certainly our grooming (check those missing buttons or frayed collars). It’s the little things that can make a big difference in how we are perceived.
• What we wear says volumes about how we see ourselves. Your image can project confidence, power and success. Or it can derail you by being too casual, untidy or careless.
• What we wear shows respect. For yourself and for others. It shows you care about showing a strong brand that stands out from peers and competition. Be who you are, but be the BEST of who you are.
Recently I coached a young man who was identified by his company as a high potential leader. Talented – he is. Smart – he is. Savvy – he was not. He had everything going for him except knowing how to dress appropriately for any situation. Since the company culture was Business Casual, he had the option to wear dressed down attire but it was confusing to him. Just what IS Business Casual – he wondered.
I offer simple models to follow from my book, “Business Casual….Clarify Please!”
1. High level business casual clothing pieces for men
2. High level business casual clothing pieces for women
3. Mid-level clothing for men
4. Mid-level clothing for women
5. Base-level clothing for men
6. Base-level clothing for women
And what is NEVER appropriate in business casual, according to research with human resource professionals
My client simply needed to see the differences and how to choose what was best for the various activities of his role. He learned one simple philosophy: “Dress for where you want to BE, not where you ARE.” In other words, show your brand by what you wear.