Professional Image Session with Laya Healthcare
Count to 7 in your mind. This is how long it takes for us to make up our mind about those we meet for the first time and not just on how they look but according to the New York University on studying the topic of professional image in detail they found in those valuable 7 seconds other also start to make assumptions about our:
- Economic levels
- Level of Sophistication
- Level of Success
- Social, sexual and professional desirability
WHY IS PROFESSIONAL IMAGE IMPORTANT?
Last week I had a pleasure of being invited to teach a class in Laya Healthcare headquarters in Cork for a group of client facing Managers on the importance of professional image, what it means, it’s impact and how we can take steps in our everyday professional lives to make the impact we want and we deserve.
What’s funny is when you consider just how much people work on projecting their professional qualifications yet when we meet someone for the first time we are judged over 50% on how we look and only 7% on what we say yet few people think about projecting and protecting their professional image in the same way!
If you don’t take charge and develop your professional image by intent, it will develop by default based on factors your not taking control of! According to research 93% of companies would say image accounts for a significant measure of wins and losses within their organisation. Within todays flexible work environments where more people are in charge of their time, their calendars and their clients it is so important your employees understand how to project a winning professional image. One that fits with their work ethic!
Here are some simple take ways to help you to project the professional image you deserve!
Although the age old idea of ‘power dressing’ holds some value nowadays wearing a black suit to work just isn’t going to cut it or make you stand out from the crowd. Working on building a work wardrobe that has colour, personality, comfort and impact is a winning formula. This starts with getting the basics right and building from here a selection of accessories, shoes, jackets and other details that help you stand out. Each season updating your work wardrobe with some on trend pieces should be all it takes to keep your wardrobe fresh and keep it bang up to date!
YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Have you ever thought about what your body language says about you? Making eye contact, standing tall, being aware of your nervous habits, knowing how to confidently greet someone new is all part of a winning professional image. Sometimes the littlest habits we have acquired can go unnoticed by us but not the people around us! Ask colleagues or friends if you have any funny little habits you need to be aware of!
YOUR ONLINE IMAGE
This is a topic I get asked to speak on more and more and rightly so! Now more than ever our image is available for all to see online. Being aware of what you put online, how you speak, the images you use and what is captured about you online is all available for people to check out before they have even met you! One website where you can start to project the image you want is of course Linkedin, the professional social platform of choice for millions! Here are my top tips for your Linkedin Profile:
- Invest in having some professional images taken. Don’t start cropping and photoshopping yourself. Having a selection of proper shots you can use in a multitude of ways will pay dividends when it comes to projecting the right professional image.
- Don’t be afraid to wear colour in your profile image. Keep the background white (or a light colour) and keep your hair neat and out of your face but choose a pop of colour for maximum impact!
- Keep in mind your profile is 11 times more likely to be looked at if you have a profile photograph.
- Getting photos taken when you are speaking to a group at a conference or in a meeting is a great way to project authority and credibility. Even if not used for your profile photo you can include on your page.
- Keep your profile updated. Make a habit of logging into your profile on a frequent basis to add new connections, feature your latest projects.
All images of the beautiful clothes have come from House of Fraser AW 2015 collection instores now.