Sarah Fulton of the Lee Group

In every work-place there are similar unspoken rules when it comes to being professional.

From timeliness and staying organized to maintaining a business casual dress code, every company has a tone they set for their own professional image.

As you establish yourself at your place of work, or as you are looking for a new career, it’s important to consistently keep up with and improve your own professional image.

Here’s how you can improve your professional image every day. 

Be intentional.

A huge part of professionalism is being intentional in all you do.

Work on being thoughtful and intentional about all you say and do in your office setting.

If you have to think twice about something you’re going to say to your co-worker, you should probably keep it to yourself.

If you’re worried about the aftermath of a decision you have to make, be open and honest with your boss and run it by them.

The more you choose to be intentional at work, the faster you will see improvement when it comes to your professional image.

Intentionality will make it easier for you to discern in the workplace when is best to speak up, and when is best to probably stay quiet. As you make subtle changes to be more intentional at work, encourage those around you to do the same.

Establish the perfect attire.

The way you present yourself when you walk into the office has a big impact on your professional image.

If you’re someone who tends to take a little less time in the morning to prep your daily look, consider putting some extra effort into your style.

After your first day on the job it’s easy to assess what the acceptable attire is based on what your co-workers are wearing.

Whether your office is more casual or requires a full suit and tie, establishing the perfect attire for work is a great way to boost your professional image.

Don’t be afraid to splurge on staple clothing items you know you’ll be able to wear daily.

If you’d like to save on your look, consider shopping at your local thrift store.

Online consignment shops like thredUP are a great option as well as you can find affordable professional attire from name brands like Madewell for a better price.

Wherever you choose to shop for your new look, have fun with making it your own. Being yourself with what you wear to the office will better establish a unique and fun professional image. 

Always go the extra mile.

You’ve probably heard this before. But it’s worth it and can do more for your professional image than anything else. While it may seem difficult at first, but it’s actually easier than you might think.

Whether you offer an extra hand for a company fundraiser, or stay a few minutes late to help with someone else’s deadline, the little things will add up.

Your professional image will improve leaps and bounds by simply doing a bit extra each and every day you enter the office.

Taking time out of your day to help your co workers and your supervisor with things that aren’t necessarily your responsibility will show how much you care about your job and the company as a whole.

From working towards a promotion to simply wanting to establish yourself more in your role at work, going the extra mile is sure to improve your image as a professional. 

Be available.

There are many things to be said about being as available as possible when it comes to what you do for work.

While it may feel as though you only need to keep up your professional image when you’re in the office, technology has proven this is not the case nowadays. Computers and smartphones allow your boss to reach you at anytime, anywhere.

Instead of being frustrated when your boss asks you to do some extra work from home, embrace the opportunity and be available.

Those who value their job also value availability and will make the time to get the work done. As you work towards being more available, you should see an improvement in your professional image as well.

A good boss will value your willingness to be available when needed, and your discernment on when to say no to extra work as well.

Find a professional balance between your free time and times when you know you can lend a hand.

Your professional image at work is one that is shaped by many different factors. As you begin to put these steps into practice to improve how you appear to both your boss and your co-workers, ask yourself where you see the most room for improvement.

Do you need to be more available, or do you simply need to put more effort into your appearance as you get ready for your day? Whatever changes you make, your professional image is bound to improve for the better in the long run.

Looking for a new career as the first step to improving your professional image? We’re hiring. See our open jobs here.

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