As I'm sure you will appreciate from your own experiences, your initial first impression, overall presentation and personal brand, collectively, all have a part to play in your seamless success in transitioning into your new role. Looking the part in order to fit in is a pressure, no doubt, we have all experienced.
When it comes to creating an enviable and impactful personal brand at a senior level, I have learnt that there are a few critical things to consider in order to gain recognition and respect, whilst conveying an authentic style that reflects your personality, which aligns to the company's true values and culture.
Your new role will likely make you immediately more visible within the company as a leader that peers will look to for management, direction, empathy and inspiration.
With 15 years' experience behind me working with ambitious corporate climbers, I would like to share my top three tips on how to create an authentic personal brand for yourself:
• Truly understand the company's culture and ethos. It sounds obvious but getting to the heart of this will help you determine where you fit. An appreciation for company mission, goals, success measurement, desires, expectations, dress code policies and their values will ultimately help you to create the perfect foundation of your own personal brand.
• Take time to appreciate what your core values are as a leader. What do you want to be remembered for? List five qualities that reflect your leadership style. Here are some fantastic ones to get you started - inspiring others, confidence, good communicator, honesty and integrity, empathy, creativity.
• Think quality, polished and the perfect fit to convey an understated confidence! Investing in these aspects will outwardly project a consistent, effortless and enviable personal brand in the workplace. Consider quality fabrics, spending a little more time on grooming and acquire patience to locate those perfectly fitting staple pieces. I live by the mantra of less is more, quality over quantity, style not fashion. As Vivienne Westwood says, "buy less, choose well and make it last'" - I totally agree!
Dressing appropriately for those all-important work occasions is well underestimated in my opinion. Super hectic schedules make time a premium, thereby often causing huge amounts of stress, with wrong outfit decisions easily made. Making sure you're prepared with a wardrobe full of style heroes that work hard for every occasion is what I commit to achieving with my clients. Preparation is key.
Love them or loath them, conferences are demanding events where first impressions count. Whilst you don't necessarily need to dress formally, the same rules apply when representing your company and conveying your personal brand. More importantly, ensuring you consider that real comfort factor to last the duration, should be at the front of your mind. Smart softer tailored pieces with attention to non-creasing fabrics are advantageous. I love being able to mix and match different styles of trousers, a skirt or dress and blazer combos, teamed with eye catching accessories and shoes, which empower and play up your looks will always guarantee a self-assured demeanour. Paying attention to wearing colours that suit your natural colouring will add that extra dynamism, radiance and convey an overall picture of health, lifting your mood right from the start the day.
When it comes to more formal occasions, such as boardroom meetings, the attire has to change to adhere to expectations of the Chairman, fellow exec and non-exec directors, key stakeholders and shareholders. You can of course dress femininely, however, be mindful of not wearing anything too revealing with low cut tops or nothing too skin-tight. Instead of soft tailored pieces, opt for a more formal tailored two-piece trouser or skirt suit or beautifully curated separates, like a sleeved dress and jacket that project a sharp and powerful image. Well fitted shirts with a crisp collar or collarless silk blouses with sleeves, along with skirts and dresses that have a modest hem length (on the knee is preferable), with minimal accessories that enhance your polished look all spring to mind.
Play with darker colours, however, take notice of captivating textures to break away from the typical formal attire. Wearing high quality fabrics with an overall conservative feel in this scenario, will make you look and feel superior and will play a part in nurturing your inner confidence whilst projecting a visible outer confidence.
To round up, preparing for every work eventuality and ensuring you have a number of exceptional pieces in your wardrobe that differentiate your personal brand, combined with a multitude of winning outfit combinations that complement your style, natural colouring, body shape and individual preferences, will guarantee your future success to flourish in your new role.
Best of luck!
Find out more about Chantelle and her personal styling and branding services, by visiting www.personal-stylist.co.uk. And if you're on social, check out our channels for regularly updates. We''ve got some beautiful style boards over on Pinterest, plus you can find us on Facebook. And if you're over on Instagram, please pop over to check out our feed.