Personal Branding Image Consulting ,Atlanta
What if making decisions was as easy is opening a compass and heading due north. What if I told you your core values are that compass? Do you know your due north? Your core values are your personal fundamental beliefs. They have been described as what you stand for, who you really are, and the expression of your authentic self. I refer to them as your internal compass.
You, in fact, have always had a set of core values whether you have identified them or not. Some, you may have held close since childhood, handed down to you by your family and the circumstances of your upbringing. Others, you may have adopted over the years as you have grown and evolved--influenced by your faith, education, the change of cultural norms, friends, the prevalence of social media, and even your job! Your core values are at the base of everything you do and how you do it, everything you say and how you say it, and absolutely influence how you are perceived by others. They can be perceived through your words, actions, appearance, and digital presence.
Unfortunately, we do not always present our authentic self to the world. So many of us fear transparency and the potential social retribution of being seen for who we are or who we are not. For those who are self-employed or own a small business the risk of "exposure" is even more threatening because "we are our brand". Who we are perceived to be determines the success or failure of our business. We need to be perceived as a smart, talented, passionate, inspirational--a professional who has it together and provides an amazing service or product. The truth is, perfection is only an Instagram story.
All the motivational poster babble, social media quotes, profound snippets on #motivationalmonday or #wednesdaywisdom are fluffy words that can not help us if we fear expressing our true essence--expressing our core values. Realistically, we can not serve our families, friends, or our clients if we are not intentionally using our core beliefs and values to guide the decisions we make and express who we are. We only serve best when we know who we are and what core beliefs and values drive us. Identifying these values, putting a name to them, and literally and figuratively wearing them on our sleeve is what differentiates us as professionals and business owners. People will not buy our product or service until they buy who we are first.
On January 17, 2019 I will be conducting a workshop focusing on core values and how to intentionally express them in your daily professional and personal life. In the three-hour session you will:
This is the first in a series of five #BETHAT professional development workshops offered for small business owners, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurst at Decatur CoWorks in Decatur, GA . For more information and to sign up go to our Eventbrite Link below. If you have additional questions please connect with me
Do you have Style? Don't panic! This is somewhat of a trick question. It's important to understand foremost, Style is not just about the way you dress. Style is the manner in which you do anything: the way you communicate, the way you behave, the way you process emotions and information, and the way you dress. On a professional level, Style includes your managerial and leadership approach. All of these "style-types" are influenced and led by your unique personality, core values and how you express yourself visually, emotionally, verbally, and behaviorally.
I can not stress how important it is, in all phases of your career, whether you are an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, or in the corporate world, to know and understand your "Styles". There is an ancient Greek aphorism espoused by many writers and philosophers to "know thyself". In the 21st century, this advice is still extremely relevant. Do you know yourself?
So relax. Yes, you have Style. In everything you do. Understanding your styles allows you to bring a value proposition to the table every time and to intentionally build your authentic personal brand.
"helping you express your most authentic self"
Photo courtesy of J. Hilburn.
As I consult both professional men and women, I reach out to many sources for sartorial knowledge and information to stay current and in-the-know about corporate and professional style trends. Although I never encourage fashion trends, as they are so flighty, I always want to pass on smart information that applies to my client and his or her personal style. Maintaining a quality, current and professional wardrobe takes a bit of effort and investment, but the result is a wardrobe that is relevant for many seasons and a professional image that authentically represents the individual. Afterall, style means nothing unless its personal.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin Knaus, Creative Strategist, Retail Advisor, Trend Forecaster and Professor of Fashion Marketing and Management at SCAD, Atlanta. Our special focus was on men's wear and the trends corprate America is witnessing in professional attire.
Q: In the past decade, we have increasingly seen casual attire take over offices all over America, and not just in the creative industries. Do you see this continuing, or is there a fall-back to a more sophisticated and "dressed-up" sense of style?
A: I do see it continuing in the office environment. Future change will be up to the company or organization and how they establish or enforce dress codes. Today’s employees must exert a certain amount of judgment when casual attire is offered.
So much has been written about the changing of dress codes. Recently major Wall Street firms announced new relaxed dress codes to compete when recruiting talent from major technology firms but, today’s employees are still very confused on business casual which gives retailers an exciting opportunity to develop fashion education programs for the customer.
Q: Do you think that younger men/millennials have a greater sense of personal/individual style than their Gen-X or Baby Boomer predecessors?
A: Yes – Younger men/millennials are more open to experiment with dressing. I do see a difference in the older millennial verses the younger millennial. The younger millennial wants to dress with a more significant personal style. When visiting retailers, the staff are telling me that young millennial men have a stronger interest in dressing up. This customer likes the educated staff that can help them with the correct purchase.
Q: European cuts are just that! Are Southern professional men embracing the more fitted shorter jackets and pants or are they still inclined to wear tailored and classic cuts?
A: I feel this is a personal taste and depends on the man. As we know the American man has a build that is different than the average European man. It’s very common for American men to be larger in the middle, more so than European men. American men can have difficulty finding correctly sized European suits because if the jacket fits, the trousers may be too small. It comes down to how much a man wants to spends. A well-fitting suit can be expensive. In the end, the Southern professional male is still inclined to wear the classic cuts.
Q: The blue blazer is a timeless piece for men. How often must it be replaced to stay current in a man's wardrobe?
A: The blue blazer will always be a staple in a man’s wardrobe. The blazer is perfect for a meeting or with blue jeans as it’s a timeless silhouette that will always be in style. Dressed up or down a man always needs the classic blue blazer. Today, many types of blazers are available but, I recommend either the standard double-breasted or the two button as they are the most classic for men. Today’s man needs a great cotton/linen blend for summer and a wool for winter.
Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge and expertise with my followers, Kevin!
"helping you express your most authentic self"
It's already summer in the South, and as the temperature rises, professional clothing is getting skimpier. Women are losing their blouses and jackets, pants, and close-toed heels and instead opt for sleeveless or strappy tops, shorter skirts, and sandals. Men tend to lose the jacket as well and wear sports shirts or short sleeve shirts exclusively. They sport their shirts untucked and even wear the dreaded flip-flop. You know you are guilty on some level.
There are some industries that can handle a slight summer shift to more casual attire, especially as the season tends to be quieter, in terms of work and client load, but your selections must remain appropriate for your work environment. If you work in the finance, accounting, consulting and law fields, or in a large corporation, you have to continue projecting your professional image year-round. So, you must pay attention to your company's dress code.
Inappropriate work clothes will distract from
your professional purpose and message.
Don’t frown as if this is a horrible thing! As the consummate professional I know you are, you owe it to yourself to look your professional best all the time! Consider the promotion or raise you want. You also owe it to your company. You want to be taken seriously. Remember, you are dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. In fact, in a survey conducted by careerbuilder.com, 93% of executives admit they take in to account an employee's dress style when they are considered for a promotion. If you are a manager or in the C-suite, note how you want your company to be represented by your employees. After all, I advise young professionals to emulate you!
I’m not trying to stifle your style--I’m trying to bring out your professional style! Inappropriate work clothes will simply serve as a distraction and the focus will be on the state, quality and appropriateness of what you are wearing not the quality of your work and performance. Coco Chanel said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” This applies, of course, to men and women.
There are ways to look professional and feel comfortable throughout the summer months. The key lies in selecting the right fabrics for a professional summer wardrobe. You can invest in a handful of key pieces in light fabrics and dress appropriately and comfortably all summer long.
For the summer, fabrics to consider are linen, lightweight cotton, and airy silks. You will always feel cooler in natural fibers. Seer sucker suits were once the staple of summer business attire for Southern men and are still available through J. Hilburn, Hugo Boss and Brooks Brothers, among others. Linen jackets, twill pants, and lighter weight cotton shirts in pastel and neutral colors look appropriate and feel great.
Here are some tips for dressing appropriately during the summer.
Advice to women:
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I write about the topics that make you stand out and help you be that for which you want to be known. My passion is helping you as a professional, discover your values and your inner style and project them authentically and confidently though your words, actions, appearance and digital presence.