Whether you’re going for a new job, trying to land an important client or giving a career redefining presentation, your image is everything in the corporate world. The way you look, the way you walk, the way you talk paints a thousand words about you. So how do you stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons? Read on for 5 ways to look and sound your professional best, impress and elevate yourself to powerhouse status....
Do you dress for success? Start to! Exuding your confidence and communicating your skill and technical know-how becomes that much easier when you look the part. Think sharp tailoring, pressed shirts and appropriate shoes that make you feel self assured but still comfortable. Wrinkled clothing or a look you threw on in a hurried haze running out the door won’t suffice – set aside a minute or two the night before to get organised.
Know those people whose scent enters a room before they do? You don’t have to tick that box – or you can, if you wish – but ensure that you are smelling fresh. First impressions count, and, while you might go for a signature scent or change things up depending on your mood, having a memorable aroma that both signals maturity and poise while remaining pleasant in the company of others is a perfect combo. And don’t forget the deodorant and mints post coffee!
Good body language should assert your authority and help you take ownership of your opinions and contributions as a valued member of a company or organisation. On the other hand, folded or crossed over arms, a frame turned away from or blocking others can come across as aggressive, arrogant or exclusionary. Be mindful of your presence, including your gestures and eye contact, and your co-workers, superiors and mentors will respect you more. Not confident? Fake it!
Similarly, slumped shoulders, a hunched back or a gaze to the ground project an image of indecision, incompetence, timidness or indifference. While you do not have to contort your body into unnatural stances, good posture reinforces professionalism. So keep your shoulders back, try not to fidget or pace, sit up straight when you are seated and own the space you are in.
A smile says that you are warm, approachable, human, even! You don’t need to intimidate others for them to respect you. Embrace the face-to-face connections that you encounter every day with a smile. Smiles make people relax more around you, too. So the next time you think cracking a smile exposes a sign of weakness or exhibits subordinate behaviour, think again. Smile with purpose, not to please.
Above all, assert your presence in the corporate world by dressing for success, smelling the part, looking and standing tall and owning your space. Self assurance doesn’t have to be arrogance or cockiness, so the next time you want to feel more confident at work, try our tips!
What are your strategies for exuding confidence at work?