5 Ways to Positively Brand Yourself as a Young Professional

30 Dec

Office Space: Classic

Work Your Wardrobe

The way you dress is a direct reflection of you.  As much as we feel like terrible humans for saying it, appearance does matter. Ever heard of the halo effect?  E. L. Thorndike who first documented this perception error defined the halo effect as “a problem that arises in data collection when there is carry-over from one judgment to another.”  This means, if you come in to work every day dressed carelessly, people will assume you put that kind of effort into your work.  The silver lining in this situation is that the same is true for the opposite side of the spectrum.  More positive things will be associated with you and your work when you put effort into how you present yourself.  To all you preachers of the gospel of “It’s what’s on the inside that counts / don’t judge a book by its cover”, WHATEVER.  It’s what is on the inside that counts but that is not what we see when we first meet you.  Let what’s on the inside be reflected on the outside.  See where THAT gets you!

Schedule Lunches with Superiors

They’re like the seniors when you first got to high school….kinda scary.  Yes, they’re older than you, they’ve most likely been with the company longer than you, and they definitely have more experience than you, but eventually you will have to get to know these people in a social setting.  It’s great to respect someone who’s in a  more senior level but don’t let them intimidate you.

Socializing outside of your professional circle comes along with considerable benefits.  Those in more senior positions are usually more than willing to share with you invaluable knowledge about the company, industry, and general life and career lessons.  These helpful hints can be crucial in providing insight on your career strategy.

Get Chummy with Your Associates

Gone are the days where simply coming in to the office, keeping your head down and working long hours will abracadabra you into CEO.  Yes, you still have to work hard, but now a days, the corporate workplace is much more centered around teamwork.  Having knowledge, even if it’s mainly high-level, of other groups and their functions with reference to yours will set you apart from the crowd. One of the fastest ways to get this knowledge is befriending associates in your department, and associates from other departments in a similar organizational level.

Ask questions

Asking questions makes you look good.  It shows you’re listening and engaged.  It lets the questionee know that you care about doing a quality job on the task at hand.  Asking questions is also gives you a gateway to express your opinion on things because the great thing about asking questions is that usually you are asked a question back!

Trust Yourself

You’ve successfully gotten this far in your career, remember that. Appreciate yourself for that.  Part of being a self sufficient, free thinking adult is being able to trust yourself.  Once you trust yourself before anything or anyone else, you can be confident in your future decisions.

The peace of mind you will feel when you develop this skill is indescribably liberating.

Style In and Out of the Office: Ways to Wear Wedges

21 Dec

As a woman in business, formerly working in the auto industry, I have come into contact with many with an opinion about fashion and where it belongs in the workplace.  Now, be aware that I’m only going to be talking about women’s fashion for two reasons.  Reason 1: I’m a woman, I wear women’s clothing. Reason 2: I believe that it’s easier for women to go dangerously wrong because we have more garment options, a.k.a. our choice to wear pants or not can make things more complicated.  My philosophy when it comes to how I dress while working is to incorporate personal style into current, appropriate fashion.  Don’t be afraid to let your personality radiate through what you wear.  After all, how you dress is another form of expression and personal branding.

Style [stahyl]: a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.

Fashion [fash-uhn]:  style in clothes, cosmetics, behavior, etc, especially the latest or most admired style

As you can see, style is part of fashion.  You may think the fashion you see on the runway or on the red carpet is not for you for whatever reason (age, weight, height, etc), but there are plenty of ways to take cues from Heidi, and Giselle.  One trend I’m loving right now is the wedge heel.  This is a basic that goes from casual to dressy, the office to the club, solid black to covered in rhinestones.

Need more convincing?

  • The wedge refers to the type of heel and it can be put on any kind of shoe.
  • They are sturdy, which makes them a perfect stiletto alternative when you need to tromp around in the elements.
  • All that shoe at the bottom allows the manufacturers to put tons of padded bouncy stuff in the soles, which makes them REALLY comfy.

Here are some ideas to get you started.  Enjoy!

  

Lots of Haters?….Maybe You Just Need a Reality Check

18 Dec

LOL, Terrible!

Let me just start this post out saying that yes, I realize this blog picture is random, and and extremely debatable as to how relevant is it to the content of this post….but it made me LOL.  Laughing is very important to me.  For that, it stays!  Moving on…

So I was reading this article in Marie Claire, and it got me thinking.  I mean, ok…people cuss at work.  But I don’t really think that’s causing any major corporate issues.  What I’m talking about is our newfound inability to say “…this sucks”.  Because sometimes it really does.   There are plenty of people who do their jobs correctly and very well who will vouch for me on this one.

Now I’m not here to advocate losing your shit on every person that makes you mad at work, but what I will tell you is that we need more people out here “keeping it real”.  What’s all this bullshit about “haters”?  Ok , yes, haters do exist.  But I think we all know that there needs to be a general consensus to reassess the frequency in which we use that term.

Haters make unnecessary comments.  Haters don’t have good intentions.  Haters come from a place of jealousy and ugliness.  Haters are bitches.

…..basically……

If this criticism comes from a part of your team, take it with a grain of salt, but TAKE IT.  See what you can learn.  Many people are not out here to ruin your life.  Quite the contrary, they are here to see you succeed, because, when you succeed, they succeed.  That’s how teams…err…companies work.

If it comes from outside the figurative “team”, consider it.  Don’t obsess.  Consider it.  If you don’t think it’s accurate then let it go.  If you keep hearing the same thing then, C’MON.

I know it sucks to have someone tell you something you’re doing isn’t right, but like They say, you can’t learn if you only have success.  Let’s stop this overly extra PC-ness corrupting our minds and telling us we can’t speak up when we don’t like something.  Whether it’s at work, or in our person lives, as long as it’s done with respect, its ok –no, it’s highly recommended to SPEAK UP.  Falsehoods aren’t doing any favors.  You can tell people how you feel, and have your point get across while maintaining your relationship, whatever that may be.