Everyone in today’s workforce understands the importance of maintaining a good professional image. What fewer people realize is that a good personal image is just as crucial. Someone who shows up to meetings on time but arrives in a filthy car and brings a disorganized notebook is failing to project an air of competence, just like someone who shows up late and unprepared.
Use the following tips to help yourself cultivate an extended image of both personal and professional ability:
1. Avoid Dressing Too Casually
Even though we don’t all wear suits and ties to the office anymore, there is a fine line between casual and sloppy. Even if your workplace calls for t-shirts and jeans, make sure that these items are as neat as possible. Consider anything you’re going to wear to work to be your uniform, and maintain it accordingly so that you can wear it with pride. The self-confidence you gain from this will show in your work and in your personal and professional interactions while on the job.
2. Take Care of Your Vehicle
A dirty car, or one in poor repair, sends a bad message. Your vehicle is an essential tool and if others see that you don’t properly care for it they might feel that you have a difficult time taking care of other basic tasks as well. Always do your scheduled auto maintenance and make sure to wash the exterior at least once a week. Do not neglect the interior, either. Having to move food wrappers and receipts out of the passenger seat is no way to start an errand with a co-worker or client. Make sure you’re ready to help out with a ride at a moment’s notice.
3. Only Bring What You Need
Taking an overstuffed bag into a meeting is a bad idea. Nobody wants to wait around while you sift through your detritus for a pen. Similarly, don’t take so much paperwork that you have to shuffle through it to find the subject at hand. Make sure your personal effects and your desk/office area are always neat and well-organized. This will help demonstrate that you’ve got a firm grasp on all of your responsibilities.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it’s wise to always remember that personal image affects extended image, and to present oneself in the best possible light in all aspects of life.
For more information and guidance?contact a ByFerial Image Consultant?near you.