I’ve worked in Asia and the US and in comparison, the workplace dress code in Australia is relaxed and casual. Unless you work in a major city in “professional” industries where a suit is still the norm, getting dressed for work each day can be a headache. How can you create an outfit that is professional, appropriate, comfortable yet injected with your personality?
A good place to start is to understand the impression you want to create on your clients, your colleagues and your boss. What’s more important to you ? Projecting credibility, authority and generating respect for your expertise? Or do you prefer to come across as approachable, friendly, collegiate? To understand how to project your “brand” you need to know what your brand is first. Clothing, body language and interpersonal skills are merely tools to communicate what’s inside outside.
I found this slideshow helpful because it reminds us all that we are always on display and that’s is a good idea to actively manage our personal brand, “If you’re not branding yourself, you can be assured that others are doing it for you.” (Slide 18)
It’s interesting to see that the five steps this branding organisation follows in defining Brand You are similar to the five steps we use when helping our clients define their personal fashion style. It starts by reflecting on the unique person you are first – your passions, interests, values and beliefs – then moves on to the tactical steps of projecting all these qualities through dress, wardrobe, interpersonal and communication skills. I agree that this whole thing about personal brand or style evolves over time and can be fun if you look at it as a personal growth process.