Your professional image
Recently I’ve been working with individuals and businesses around personal branding, executive presence, call it what you will. Basically, it’s about ensuring you project the best possible professional image.
Now that business casual and smart casual are often the prevailing dress codes for a lot of businesses, immaculate grooming is particularly essential to looking professional and business-ready. It can set us apart from (and yes, let’s be honest, above ) our less well-groomed colleagues. Immaculate grooming says that you take pride in yourself, that you are professional and in charge of your time management.
Furthermore, research from sociologists Wong and Penning (2016) found “You can access the rewards that you typically think of being for attractiveness through grooming,” This was found to be true for women in particular, for whom grooming was actually more important than looks when it came to earnings.
Outside of work
Good grooming isn’t just a great tool for getting ahead in business, it matters outside of work too and the older we get, the more it matters. If you’re past about forty, the chances are that you can no longer just roll out of bed, run a comb through your hair (or not!) and look OK. (Actually, I never could, but I’ve always envied those women who somehow manage to look sexily dishevelled with bed-head hair and last night’s make-up). As we get older though, what once looked sexy and care-free can start to look unkempt, almost like we’ve given up on ourselves. We need to invest a little more time on our appearance. As a minimum we should be aiming for:
Hair should be clean. A great blow-dry always pays dividends but if you know you won’t do it, ask your hairdresser for a low-maintenance wash and go style, or have your hair long enough to be able to tie it back or put it up. Just washing your fringe everyday can really freshen up your look.
And, on the subject of hair, as most of us know only too well it doesn’t confine itself to our head! When it comes to the ones on your face, brace yourself, and look in a magnifying glass, without make-up and in broad daylight. Make sure you pluck, thread or wax away any unwanted hairs. If you don’t feel up to doing it yourself, there are any number of places you can get it done quickly and cheaply – even in the middle of West Quay if you don’t mind an audience!
You don’t need to have long highly polished talons. Clean, nicely manicured nails are fine. Add a clear or neutral toned varnish and they’ll look cared for but won’t need nearly so much maintenance as an intense colour.
A little make up really does make most of us look a lot better.
Survey after survey has shown that women are perceived not only as more attractive but also more trustworthy and professional when they wear make-up. Not only that, not wearing make-up can actually have a detrimental effect on our professional image.
“64% of directors said that women who wore make-up look more professional and 18% of directors said that women who do not wear make-up ‘look like they can’t be bothered to make an effort”
The Times 29/11/07
The good news is that we’re not talking a huge amount of effort. If make-up’s not your “thing”, just applying mascara, lipstick/gloss and a little blusher can make a huge difference. Get the colours and application right and you will look like a younger, fresher and more attractive version of yourself.
If you’re unsure where to start or what suits you, you can always book in with myself for a make-up lesson or I’ll introduce you to one of my team for a complimentary make-up session.