Your professional image is an essential part of your military to civilian transition career search – and your subsequent career. Even in an era of largely informal business settings – coffee shop meetings and video conferences – and informal business dress codes – “business casual” and casual Friday – a professional image is still expected.
So if it’s not the dress code, what forms the basis of a professional image? Harvard Business School professor, Laura Morgan Roberts, defines professional image as: the set of qualities and characteristics that represent perceptions of your competence and character as judged by your key constituents (i.e., clients, superiors, subordinates, colleagues) Simply put, Ms. Roberts is describing an ability to exceed expectations, hit deadlines, and be an overall positive contribution to your office.
In some ways it’s more difficult to create an maintain a professional image today, but there are also more opportunities to shape your image as well. In reality, your professional image is the entire set of impressions that people in the workplace have of you, so you can treat most interactions as an opportunity to build on your reputation black lives matter t-shirt.
In a world of billionaires in blue jeans, is it still important to dress for success?
It might all seem a bit out of date. After all, we’ve all seen images of corporate CEOs is “business casual” or even blue jeans. and if it’s good enough for them, why not you. Here’s a rule of thumb: when your net worth exceeds the combined value of two hundred or so of the wealthiest people you know personally, you probably can relax about what you wear. In other words, ordinary mortals need to dress right.
But what’s it really: to dress for success? Well, it depends–but it doesn’t depend entirely–on the culture and standards of your workplace, or, if you’re changing jobs, that of the business or organization you hope will hire you. Even so, there’s more to it than meets the eye, and for every genuine mover and shaker who looks like they fix trucks for a living, there are a dozen examples of well-dressed losers.
It’s about You not the Clothes
When you dress for success, you make a powerful statement about who you are and where you’re going. Putting together this aspect your professional image is important. Think about it carefully and decide what you need to start doing, stop doing or do differently you put your best foot forward. There’s a famous story about Carol Burnett, the famous comedienne, who could never get into character until she found the right shoes. The way you dress affects the way you feel and the way you conduct yourself. For that reason, it also has a big impact on the way that others treat you. It’s human nature that we tend more to respect those who obviously respect themselves.