One thing we learned in the past 10 years was that in order
to thrive in the next 10, every professional needs to define and redefine their
own personal brand image. What people expect and demand now is that the
professionals they hire or promote constantly and consistently exude multi-dimensional
desirable, outstanding qualities, both at work and elsewhere.
So start the New Year by honing in on New Year’s resolutions
that break the mold and help present a reinvented you. While most people limit
themselves to vows to lose a few pounds, get healthier, or indulge in some
self-care time – all of which are important and laudable goals you should set
for yourself – why not totally reinvent your whole professional image and take
yourself all the way to the next level?
When we don’t keep our computers in tip-top shape they break
down and we have to run to the computer store for a repair or tune-up. The same
principal applies to our visual image. As the years roll by we cannot let
opportunities roll by with them – and we do not have to if we keep our personal
image and brand tuned-up by staying in tune with the times.
Those who don’t take that kind of savvy proactive approach
may find themselves downsized, laid off, or facing a pay cut as we continue to
face a challenging economy. Those who do, however, will reap the rewards both
professionally and personally – with heightened self esteem, improved career
prospects, and exciting and confidence-building clarity of purpose.
Here is an exercise to get you thinking about how to grab your
dreams in 2010:
Take a piece of paper, divide it into two columns down the
middle, and label the left hand side “My Current Image.” Label the right side “My
New Successful Image.” Contemplate your
current visual presence as it exists today and write down everything about that
image. What do you like about it? What needs enhancement or tweaking? What
works, what doesn’t work, and is your image current and up to date with the
person you are today?
Next, before you begin the “My New Successful Image – take
some time to really think about what would you like to project to your
colleagues, peers and clients. This is the time when you need to be really
honest with yourself and ask, are you really projecting that presence?
Make a list of what you need to change in order to feel more
confident and secure in your appearance, behavior and communication and put you
at the top of your game for 2010. It could be that you want to change careers,
positions within your firm, or start being more visible by getting out and
speaking on behalf of your organization. Everyone one of us grows each year and
it’s important to really dig deep and do some soul searching at year’s end. If
you could wave your magic wand and make it happen, what would you new image
look like and how would it feel?
in mind that clothes send silent messages. Others are interpreting these
messages, even when it’s not quite conscious. When you are dressed in a certain
manner and it doesn’t match your goals in life, people tend to be hesitant
about trusting you. These days your visual image is your 24/7 walking billboard
about who you are and what you want to be. Make sure you leave a memorable
impression if you want to be the first one your company thinks about when seeking
fast-trackers who can take on a greater leadership role. An investment in your
professional image is no different than an investment in a business course. Often
times it is more important than classroom training, because it sends a critical
message about you and your level of professionalism.
Do you want to use
this blog article?
You may, as long as
you include this complete bio with it:
Sarah Hathorn is a professional image
consultant, certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author.
Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works
with high-achieving future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their
corporate and personal brand image to take their businesses and careers to the
Blog, Ezine & Website:
Copyright 2010, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS