You are in control of what people think and see about you. You are in control of what you see in the mirror. Rana Saab, Middle East Ambassador for Association of Image Consultants International gives us her professional input!
Do you like the person looking back at you? Would you hire her? Would you fall in love with her? Is there a chance you would offer her a promotion today? Or does it look like you’d rather take her out clubbing?
Before worrying about how others will perceive you, think of how you perceive yourself. Aligning your inner style personality and values with the way you present yourself to the world will be the first step in avoiding any image miscommunication. You won’t need to explain yourself a lot then as your image will do the right talking for you.
Think of all the silent messages you send with your image and style everyday. Even though you may say it’s unfair to base judgments on visual and external images, you know deep in your heart that you do it yourself. Yes, as you judge others based on what they are wearing and how groomed they are and how they carry themselves, you are judged too.
First impressions are based more than 90% on your visual image, body language and tone of voice. So, when dressing for an interview or meeting someone for the first time, give some deep thought on what you want to tell them about you on that day, before even speaking a word.
Even your experienced image, which is what you have projected to your family, colleagues and friends over the years, plays a big part in defining “you”. Apart from the close few that know the “real you”, many assume adjectives based on the “external you”.
So would you like the world to see you as “successful”, “caring”, “commanding”, “approachable”, “arrogant” or “the girl next door”?
Changing a perceived image is much harder than projecting a deliberate one.
We all have mood swings and times when we just don’t feel like dressing up. That is ok as long as we don’t intend to take ourselves out to work. Being in a corporate setting dictates that your image and style stays professional at all times. Showing up to work looking disheveled once will reflect badly on your image and the level of command you have worked so hard for. No one will trust their business to you if you look like you don’t have the time management skills to pull a confident image together.
Looking your best should not mean added pressure; on the contrary, it should make your life easier by taking your mind off the “ Do I look appropriate” worry mode and giving it space to concentrate on getting the job done.
Get to know what works best for your body shape, colorings and unique style and dress according to the time of the day, the occasion and the people you will be meeting.
Always remember that a corporate or business like occasion overrules the time of the day. So if your company invited you to dinner, don’t fret about which cute evening dress to wear. Pull out a professional yet relaxed, sophisticated look instead. You don’t want your boss wondering about your “other” assets the next day at work!
The way you dress, the styles you choose, the color contrasts you wear, and your accessories, hairstyle and makeup are all elements that determine your total image. Combined with a positive body language and open outlook, you can take “yourself” places.