In the previous article, we talked about how everybody projects their own personal brand, whether they realise it or not. This round, we’ll discuss how to take control of your personal brand, to create and project a positive perception.
Let’s get one thing straight – whether or not you mould the image for others to see in you, people will still see an image of you. The difference is that if you take an active role in moulding the image, you control what message you want your image to convey. If you don’t take any active role, an image of you will still form. It’s just that the image others see in you may not be telling the story that you want others to know.
The whole thing here revolves around how others perceive you. It’s literary the case of judging the book by its cover. We always say to never judge a book by its cover, but in reality, that’s exactly what we do… all the time… It’s literary perceiving what’s in the content of the book just by the look of the cover. It’s unfair, I know, but that’s exactly how the world works…
You can’t control how others judge you just by looking at your superficial exterior image. So why not take control of the image that you’ll no doubt project anyway? It’s all about creating a perception based on the exact qualities you want others to see in you.
Looking The Part: Creating A Positive Perception
It all really depends on the nature of your business, and also what message you want to convey to others about your qualities. If you’re in the the white-collar industry, you’d want to convey professionalism by being well groomed and well dressed. But if you’re in the creative industry, you’d want dress the part to convey creativity… But then again, what’s creative, and what’s plain simply sloppy?…
The most basic method to portray your message?… Dress the part!
(1) The White-Collar Professional
This applies to professions that include academics, accounting, banking, legal, politics, management, marketing, etc. Basically, any profession that requires you to project competency and dependability to your audience. The best option here is the standard business suit. Nothing says “I’m serious about my responsibility” than a traditional business suit.
(2) The Vocational Specialist
Just like the white-collar professionals, these people are specialists, and are experts in their own rights. But unlike their white-collar counterparts, these experts achieve their pinnacle of their success via apprenticeship and/or on-the-job experience. While many of these professions do not require academic excellence, they’re professionals in their own right too. Jobs in this area includes artists, artistes, producers, directors, music, entertainment, graphics and/or video creators, inventors, etc.
And how do you convey your creativity?… Dress the part, too!…
But unlike the former, there’s a very fine line between dressing creatively and dressing sloppily. You want to be different from the stiff collared, conventional office workers. But do steer clear of conveying laziness and sloppiness instead of individuality and creativity.
How NOT To Dress, Regardless Your Profession
Regardless what your profession is, there’s always an image that you don’t want to project. Not even when you’re working from home, or hidden away in a cubicle, devoid of contact with other fellow human beings. You do NOT want to look like a student…
Of course, one could say that looks alone aren’t everything. After all, you could always put on a white lab-coat, and people might just mistake you for a doctor or a scientist. There’s more to projecting a professional image than merely the clothes (or uniform) that you wear.
There’s More To Perception Than Looks Alone
Looking the part does play a very big role in projecting a professional image. However, looks alone isn’t everything. Once the first impression has set in, and the ice is broken, the next step is to actually get to know you. This is when you’ll have to substantiate the essence of your professionalism to match what your physical image has already projected.
In the following article, we’ll discuss the basic professional etiquettes to observe, and the art of giving and receiving professional courtesy.