Does Your Personal Style Match Your Career Goals?

It can be a difficult truth, but a huge part of the first impression we make on others is based on how we look. In fact, this can be a major factor in getting hired. We all make assumptions about who people are based on their appearance. This is not always superficial or negative, it’s just one way human beings distinguish one person from another. If you’re constantly getting interviews, but hitting dead-ends, ask yourself this ? am I physically representing what I want to with my life? If the answer is no, you may need to update your look.

The most important criterion in getting hired is, of course, your body of work. However, employers hold interviews because they want to get to know you. And, most of all, they would love to be excited about hiring you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve excelled in your past positions for years, if you walk into an interview looking boring, slumpy, negative or depressed, then that is exactly how you’ll be received.

Keep in mind, refreshing your style this is not about molding yourself to fit your job. On the contrary, your job should be a reflection of your passions and interests. If that is not the case, you may have bigger issues to consider. But if you do love what you do, there is nothing superficial whatsoever in allowing your outside to reflect your inside. Refreshing your style is just a conscious effort to look more positive, fresh, with-it, and appropriate for your industry. In fact, a good physical impression will not only make upcoming interviews easier, it will improve your daily life.

We all know that career connections are not only made in interviews, but can happen anywhere. Try putting on what you would normally wear to a job interview, to the grocery store, and to go to the movies. Take photos of yourself. Now, examine the photos honestly. What does it look like this person does for a living? Who will assume you are a brilliant photo editor when you look like a sub-par house cleaner? This is not about changing yourself to meet others’ standards, it’s about allowing others to see the true you. Make it easy for them rather than difficult.

So, how do you go about it? First, shop, shop and shop some more. Usually, the times when you feel bad about your clothing are the most difficult times to shop. Having to field the disapproving glances of sales people can be enough to want to throw in the towel before even starting. Often, people will try one or two shopping trips, find nothing, and just give up. However, there are billions of pieces of clothing out there. You’re not going to find the perfect wardrobe in one shopping trip. You have to try on tons of new things before you can begin finding pieces that work. Just keep trying things on and never give up. All you have to do is find one thing that you love ? a necklace, a tie, a pair of shoes, anything. If you absolutely love it and feel that it would be appropriate for work, start from there, and build your wardrobe around it.

Once you have one outfit that you feel good in, head to the salon as soon as you can. Tell the stylist what you do for a living and what you like and dislike when it comes to your hair. Even if you have no idea where you want to go, bring in some pictures of hair you love you hate. This will help give your stylist some direction. Once you have new hair, you’ll feel like a new person, and shopping will become easier. Make an effort to keep your nails well groomed and take care of your skin. Book a massage. Do things to pamper yourself, and you will automatically look more refreshed.

Finally, take your new outfits for a spin. Mix your professional clothes in with your casual clothes and wear them around in order to make them your own. Once you begin to get used to, and even feel excited about, your new look, others will be sure to follow suit, and you will reap the benefits, not just in your career, but in all areas of life.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

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