The Power of Professional Style

People who function best in a cooperative setting have a supportive working style. These team members are adept at forming deep connections with clients and colleagues, they thrive on feedback and love celebrating successes together.

Often these individuals were raised by caregivers who had an informal dimension to their power style. They may prefer one-on-one discussions with others to resolve contentious issues on the job.

1. Get Clear on Your Personal Style

People often underestimate the power of personal style. They’re often caught up in the hectic nature of their work and the belief that fashion is frivolous or that they don’t have the time to develop a unique and authentic look.

A great place to start is by getting clear on how you want to be seen. Establishing a description, using adjectives like powerful, strong, sophisticated and intelligent will provide a framework to assess your image against.

From there, you can use a digital tool such as Pinterest or even create a physical collage of pictures to get inspired. This will help you define your dominant fashion category, which is essential to establishing an authentic professional style.

2. Create a Mood Board

Whether you’re doing a home renovation or branding project, creating a mood board is an essential tool that can help define your style. A mood board is a visual collage of inspiration that can be digital or physical, and it typically includes images, designs, color palettes, textures and descriptive concepts like quotes or visual metaphors.

You can use photos you’ve taken, magazine cutouts or find on websites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Dribble, CollectUI and SiteInspire. If you’re working with a team, digital mood boards allow everyone to make edits in real-time so that everyone is on the same page.

Incorporating colors is an important part of a mood board, so you can use tools like Kuler to create color palettes that are relevant to your design. You can also include specific fonts if your design will have text.

3. Make a List of People You Look Up to

Your professional style has the power to make a first impression that either helps or hinders your progress toward achieving important work goals. People are constantly observing you, including how you dress, and forming theories about your competence, character and commitment based on that image.

Take the time to consider the people who you highly respect, such as celebrities, politicians, authors or TV characters, and write down their names. Then, next to each name jot down words that describe why you look up to them—for instance, maybe you respect Denzel Washington because he gives back to the community and remains humble despite his fame. Getting clear on these values can help you determine the framework of your own professional style.

4. Shop With Confidence

You’re busy and booked up, so when it comes to your personal style, it falls to the bottom of your priority list. Yet, you know that first impressions matter, and your professional style is key to getting noticed and being respected.

Make a commitment to shopping with intention and to only buy clothing that makes you feel confident and like the best version of yourself. When you try something on and don’t immediately feel excited about it, leave the store. Purchases that don’t make you smile rarely get worn, so save your money for styles you love! Andrea will work with you to give you the style power you need and a wardrobe that reflects who you really are. Schedule a 1-hour Style Power Hour with Andrea to receive your very own custom style board + 2 weeks of chat support to help you shop wisely.

5. Be Yourself

Whether you’re working with new clients, giving presentations or meeting with coworkers, your professional style can be a powerful first impression. However, you don’t have to sacrifice authenticity for professionalism.

Rather, being yourself at work could mean speaking up for something you believe in during meetings or sharing your unique perspective on projects. It could also mean showing up to work genuinely interested in the project and collaborating with others. While you still need to be respectful and polite, being yourself at work could help you connect with colleagues in more meaningful ways and drive better results for your organization. You might even find yourself looking forward to the workday. After all, who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? Check out the PayScale Salary Survey for more.

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