Dressing For Success (Self Image and Credibility)First impressions count. Research has shown that your appearance is judged in the first two seconds! Below are some of the great tips and tricks to ensure that your image gives the right message in the workplace

In our increasingly image-conscious world, the way we look seems to matter more than ever before. As one great image consultant, Lynne Marks puts it: “Simply put, you are what you look like, you are what you say, and you are what others perceive of you.”

Whether you are looking for a job, or are in senior management at your organisation, it is imperative that your dress code and demeanor denote confidence, consistency and credibility. Lets take a look at these elements of properly polished professional image.

Does your image convey credibility?
The dictionary definition of credibility is “the quality being worthy of trust, being believable.” In essence, you should walk the walk and talk the talk. Most careers have certain wardrobe expectations, and you should know what the expectation is in your particular field and adhere to it. In the movie Legally Blonde, Reese Whitherspoon plays the role of a ditsy lawyer trying to make it in the legal world. How is this ‘ditsy-ness’ portrayed? By having her dress completely out of code, in bright feminine colors, inappropriately high heels and over-styled hair. This in turn makes it hard for anyone to take her seriously in her work role, despite the fact that she may actually be very intelligent. Extreme example, perhaps, but I think you get my point. Make sure that you are always profession-appropriate.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you?’

Putting it together!

Now that you realize the impact that clothes and accessories and grooming have on your over all image, here are a few tips on how to nail it –every day.

Dressing For Success (Self Image and Credibility)
  • There is no such thing as bad hair day.
  • Put on make-up (appropriately). It adds an extra touch of polish and sophistication.
  • Keep nail polish neutral and nails well shaped. Never, ever leave the house with chipped nail polish.
  • If you don’t wear it, you don’t need it. If it’s too tight, you don’t need it. If it is to short, you don’t need it.
  • Use pastel colors tastefully, as they may reduce your credibility in the workplace. They make young women look younger and highlight any wrinkles in old women.
  • If you cant stand in your shoes all day, don’t wear them. Kindly refrain from changing your shoes into ballet flats once you get to your work desk.
  • Visible pant line are very, very distasteful
  • Don’t rummage through your bags. It kills whatever perfect first impression you may have portrayed, instantly.
  • Polished women do not chew gum.
  • Punctuality speaks louder than your clothes.
Dressing For Success (Self Image and Credibility)
  • Shave. Let’s leave the rugged look for movie stars
  • Keep your nails short and clean, all the time. It’s okay to go for manicure every now and then.
  • Always know when to wear a tie, and no, it doesn't make you look over dressed.
  • Measure your suit by the coat size –the trousers can always be adjusted.
  • Your socks should always match your trousers and cover the calf.
  • Do not put bulging wallets at the back of any trousers.
  • Keep accessories to minimum
  • Lose the backpack and invest in good quality briefcase
  • Open doors, pull seats and always carry a clean white handkerchief.
  • Punctuality speaks louder than your tie.

Is your image consistent?
One needs to maintain a proper professional image all day, every day. You will note that especially in the corporate world, people tend to look their best on Monday, and this gradually tails off, leaving them at their worst on Friday –let’s not even talk about the offices that operate on Saturdays! A consistent image builds your credibility. It shows that you are always on top of things around you, simply because you seem to be in control of yourself.

Dressing For Success (Self Image and Credibility)

Do you exude confidence?
Perhaps the most important factor in maintaining a consistent and credible image is having confidence. You cannot ignore the impact that extra polish and a quality look have on your self-confidence, and it shows. We all have one suite that is the perfect shade of grey. The one suit you wear to negotiations, board meetings, press conferences and to your internal appraisal. The suit that makes you feel larger than life. When you wear it, suddenly you’re holding your head higher, walking in larger strides and saying hello to everyone that passes. The power suit! Every single outfit in your wardrobe, especially your work one, should be a power outfit. There is no time like the present to be at your best, and yes, you can (and should) be at your best every single day.

Author Bio;
Megan Campbell is a fashion blogger and photographer. She likes celebrity gossip and the garven blog's celebrity section is one of her favorites. Her passion for fashion and photography has greatly inspired her ambitions of one day owning a fashion Company

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