Today's leaders should take note: Your professional image matters. No matter how formal or informal the work environment, the way you present yourself has an impact. That’s why if you want to gain more respect, you need a professional image makeover.
People assess your competence, trustworthiness, and likeability in just a tenth of a second. And most of the time, they base their judgment on how you look. A professional image enhances your credibility and overflows to many other attributes.
This includes your appearance, education, knowledge, experience, and communication skills. When you look like a professional, people treat you like a professional.
Why You Need a Professional Image Makeover
A successful professional image will generate a number of important personal and professional benefits. Some examples are career advancement, better client interactions, increased self-esteem, and better work relationships.
This is why companies invest millions of dollars to build their brand. As a leader, your professional image is connected with your leadership brand.
If you want to be influential, your team must see you as a professional.
The problem is, most leaders aren't aware if they are exuding a professional image. They aren't aware of the repercussions of their words, actions, or etiquette.
I observed this with some of the leaders I served over the years. Before we worked together, they feel down because they don't feel respected. In fact, they don't even feel trusted by their subordinates.
With some observation and a little digging, we discovered ways on how to do a professional image makeover for them. As a result, they became more influential and valuable to their company.
Why is Professional Image Important in "Work From Home" Setup
When people think of "work from home", many imagine sleeping in late, working in their pajamas, and long lunches. But what people need to realize is that even though working from home offers a great amount of flexibility, they still need to be professionals.
Whatever your position is, you need to model and exude professionalism. Even when no one is looking. Why? Because it affects your mindset. And ultimately, it affects your overall job performance.
Showing professionalism at your job even if it's just virtual makes people trust you. It's easy to stand out at work when you act professional since not everyone is doing it. And you'll reap all the rewards.
Here’s an “Ultimate Work from Home Guide” for you!
How To Show Professional Image in Virtual Work
Emanate a Professional Social Networking Presence
Professionals are beginning to realize that online branding is critical and could impact their career.
Social networking sites started as a casual tool for socializing. But an increasing number of employers are using it as a source of information. Especially on personality and character.
Companies I've spoken with also agree that they use it as a tool to gauge an employee’s professionalism. This is why you should never talk ill about your company or your colleagues.
Connect with Virtual Meetings
To make virtual meetings work, you might need to adjust how your team conducts them.
Test the technology ahead of time and make sure to ask them to turn on their video. This will make you feel that you're talking with real people. And it will ensure that your team is wearing a professional outfit even if they're just at home.
Follow general meeting best practices, such as having a clear objective and circulating an agenda. This way, you stay focused on the topics and finish in time.
Check out this article about "The 9 Rules Virtual Meeting Etiquette Every Professional Should Know."
Final Word On Professional Image Makeover
The impact of your image is massive. That's why if you want to be perceived with respect, look into a professional image makeover. It’s worth bringing some intentionality to your style as an executive and leader.
What specific idea will you apply today to have a professional image makeover? Let me know in the comments below!