DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
Enhance Your Image
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2009
Summer is a great time to take stock of yourself and the image you project personally and professionally. Whether you like it or not, a positive image can propel your success, while a negative image will hold you back. It’s important to be aware of how you appear to others and to remember that your image is constantly a “work in progress”. There’s always some improvement you can make, so strive to be your best.
Assess Your Current Image
Take time to step back and evaluate your image. Start with your appearance, but remember that image includes your attitudes and behavior too. They are very much interconnected and this is what causes people to draw conclusions about you based upon how you look. Many times — but not always — these conclusions are correct. If you are messy in your appearance or your office is in disarray, it’s reasonable for someone to assume that you may not be exacting about details and aren’t the best person for a project that requires fastidiousness. On the other hand, if you look starched and lacquered in an office where not even a paper clip is out of place, you probably won’t be selected for a team that ignites its creativity by engaging in horseplay. This may not matter to you if you have other career objectives, but if your image is getting in your way, do something about this.
Make Some Changes
If you conclude that your appearance is lacking polish, make it shine. Pay greater attention to your wardrobe and grooming. And get help from friends and colleagues you admire, as well as professional shoppers and other experts. If you can’t afford personal consultants, take advantage of free assistance provided by your favorite stores and salons. Don’t be afraid to try something new and move out of your comfort zone a bit. This includes learning different success strategies, such as networking or public speaking, that may make you feel uneasy at first. You may need coaching to learn these new skills. Sometimes you will need to seek therapy to change stubborn attitudes and behaviors that are holding you back.
Stay Within Your “Brand”
While change can be good, don’t go overboard. Your success comes from others’ confidence in your reputation or your “brand”, so build upon this image, don’t radically depart from it unless you’re moving into a new field, for example, and are intentionally seeking a new persona. Otherwise, don’t go from being the most serious person in the office to becoming the “class clown”. Or from wearing suits and ties to sporting jeans and t-shirts at work. Though you may be striving for a more “relaxed” image, it’s not going to go over well if you become casual in your dress and demeanor when you’ve always been a stickler for protocol. And if you’re known for your creative fashions and funky hairdo’s, a shift to classic dress and pumps in a setting that prides itself on being avant garde will cause great consternation. Make changes that propel you forward, not out the door.
Many people believe that once they attain a positive image they never need to improve it. Check yourself out and give your image a boost from time to time to increase your winner’s edge.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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