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Enhance your professional image

office lady

I was surprised to find this really helpful list of professional image enhancing tips from AOL.com. They are actually relevant to grown ups and simple to implement. Since I know we can all use a little polish in this competitive work environment, here they are with my thoughts:

1. Dress professionally. There’s that old saying about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have, and it holds true. If you want to be a manager or an executive, there’s no time like the present to look the part.
2. Choose appropriate hairstyles. A friend of mine was at a job interview recently and the woman she spoke with had purple hair. This was for a bank job. My friend walked away reconsidering whether or not she wanted to work at a place where the women had purple hair. It does send a message and a confusing one at that.
3. Take notes. This is a great psych. The speaker - very likely manager - will assume you think what they are saying is important enough for you to write down. They perceive your respect and this will bridge a relationship.
4. Listen to yourself and speak directly. Knock off the ums and uhs. Nothing makes you look more incompetent. Stop. Talk about the things you know and keep it short.
5. Avoid being the office clown. It’s great to be popular at work. It’s better to be respected and promotable. Most humor has a butt at the end of a joke or is self-deprecating or cynical/sarcastic. Avoid the negatives.
6. Don’t air your personal dirty laundry. Do not discuss financial stress, marital stress, friends who stabbed you in the back. You don't have to pretend you're perfect, but you don't need to bring your baggage to work either.
7. The messy work station. A lot of people equate an organized desk with an organized mind. Your system, your approach to work is who you are. Keep it neat and organized and people will assume you can take on more. 8. Social media manners. Watch out for what others and what you post about yourself on public sites. It’s not cool for you to be dancing topless drinking tequila in a photo your boss has access to. And don't think they're not looking.
9. Approach upper management. Don’t be afraid to say hello in the elevator or at a company social event. Don’t be intimidated by power; you could be a part of it.
10. Raise your hand. Whether it’s to head up a search committee or plan the company picnic, get involved. You will increase visibility, meet more people and show off your skills.

Source: AOL.com


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