A strong professional image can be a key to a great and successful career. When people look at you as someone who is completely committed to their work and never lets anything come his or her way of fulfilling commitments, it is a boon for your career. You are the first person your boss considers for a promotion as you are a league apart from the rest.
Whether you are someone who is only starting their career, looking to boost their career or a seasoned veteran, it can never hurt to learn a few tips to build a professional image. The problem here is that not many people know how to go about it. That is where we come in. We are bringing you some simple yet effective tips that will help you look more professional than your peers and stand out at work. Check these out below:
#1. Make Good First Impressions
First impressions are crucial. Within seconds of meeting someone, we make up our mind whether we like someone or not. Be it when we are interviewing someone for a position in our company or meeting someone on a blind date, it only takes a few seconds if not just a fraction of one to decide whether it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Therefore, you must also focus on making a good impression when you are meeting someone for the first time in your professional capacity. Keep things to work and show your dedication and loyalty towards your work through your actions. Have you failed at making a positive first impression? Don’t sweat, though it won’t be easy you can still correct it.
#2. Practice Professional Body Language
Your body says more about you than your words. It is a secret language that can reveal your energy, mood, likes, dislikes and several other things. One name on this long list is also your attitude towards your job or career. When trying to come off as a professional, you have to take care of what body language conveys to the observer. It entails everything from carrying yourself with confidence and maintaining an eye contact when talking to a client, employee or boss to sitting and standing up straight and offering a firm handshake when you meet someone. Body language is important in different aspects of your life.
#3. Mold Your E-Life As Per Your Professional Image
No matter how hard you try to maintain your professional image, it can be dragged down in no time if you do not mold your e-life or your online life as per it. For instance, suppose your image at work screams that you are a no-joke professional who doesn’t mind going extra miles to fulfill their commitments but your online appearances reveal your image of a weekend boozehound who can’t live without a bottle of Jack Daniels, it can ruin your rapport at work. Therefore, if you are trying to build a professional image for yourself, and that too a strong one, then make sure you are not posting something online that may ruin it. In addition to that, you also have to ensure that your friends are not tagging you in something that might do so.
#4. Never Mix Personal With Professional
One of the biggest mistakes that destroy people’s professional image is that they do not keep their professional life and their personal one separated. People you meet in your professional capacity should know that nothing, not even from your personal life will ever come in your way of doing what you have committed for. You also need to set some limits for yourself. Keep yourself from revealing too many details of your personal life with your colleagues and also keep your political, moral and religious views to yourself. Your work is not the place to share it with others. Keep your conversations with your clients, boss or employees strictly about work. Other things can often overshadow your professional image.
#5. Under Promise And Over Deliver
Sometimes, merely delivering on your promises at work is not enough and you have to do more. In order to stand out from the dozens or maybe hundreds of employees at your workplace, you have to deliver more than what is already expected of you. You have to go an extra mile to prove the level of your professionalism and build a unique professional image for yourself. Whenever you are assigned a project, settle on deadlines that you are guaranteed to achieve without too much effort. And when you have started to work on it, put in some extra efforts to achieve even more. Delivering projects before deadlines and going beyond your daily targets at work is how you stand out.
#6. Be Flexible
In addition to the points mentioned above, you also need to be flexible. Settling down in just one role with a given set of responsibilities sure sounds amazing if you wish to find a comfort zone. But this comfort zone can keep you from achieving so much in your life that you otherwise surely will. Be flexible with your tasks and always take initiatives to do something extra. Volunteer to take up new responsibilities and duties whenever you get the chance to. If you do this, then your boss will also get to know that he or she can rely on you to assign new duties if the need be. Therefore, even if you have found a comfort zone for yourself at work, make regular attempts to step out of it and indulge in things that you are afraid of or are not expected from you.
#7. Dress Professionally
Like we said before, the first impression is often the last impression and what better make a positive one than dressing appropriately? In the professional landscape, appearances matter. Your actions could be telling the story of your professional behavior, but your clothes could be singing another tale of how laidback you are. Therefore, always make sure that you dress appropriately for the position you are in, even if it is not mandatory in your workplace. Also, you should not overlook the significance of personal grooming which includes taking care of your hair, skin, nails, and teeth. You might also want to cover up those tattoos and piercings that you think make you look cooler than everybody else at work. Your dress code must indicate that you are serious about your career and want to grow.
#8. Talk Positively And Constructively
Keep in mind to have a positive attitude when communicating with team-mates, superiors or juniors. One mistake that many bosses make is that they make things personal in instances where their subordinates commit a mistake. You do not want to be that kind of boss. Instead, you want to be the one that people do not fear approaching and are sure that will be treated with respect. Even when people around you have not delivered positive results, make sure you express sympathy regarding the problems that they faced and motivate them so that they achieve their targets the next time. Keeping a positive attitude in the workplace even in unfavorable situations will help your colleagues develop faith and confidence in you.
#9. Let Your Work Speak For You
Well, how easier could this be? If you are doing everything right but are not sincere with your work, then nothing is going to help you make a professional image. Instead, your work should in itself be enough for people to understand how professional you are. Trying to make a good impression as a dedicated, hard-working and loyal employee without even completing the tasks assigned to you, you will only come off as a phony individual, a hypocrite. But if you act modestly even after out-performing everybody at work, that is good enough.
Before we go, the last thing that we would like to suggest you is that you build your image like you are building a brand. You will have to create a strategy and then follow it religiously if you are really serious about building a professional image that is strong and unbeatable.
Now before you go, share your thoughts about the post with us through your comments in the box below. We would love to hear what you have to say. Also, share with us other points about how you think one can create a professional image for themselves.