When you were still a student you may have believed, like me, that if I just listen to the lecture and get good grades, then I will be successful in business. You may have also learned the hard way, much like me, that even if you get good grades and go to every class, you can still struggle in your professional life. You soon learn academic knowledge is not enough to succeed in business! You need to manage the unspoken rules of the workplace, manage your look, your communication style, and manage your overall sanity We talk through our top tips for rounding out the edges of your professional journey beyond the academic know-how.
This article is near and dear to me to because it is at the heart of why Polished Professionals was created. You may have the academic knowledge to help you land a job but that is just the first step in career success You have to put in the hard work, you have to give off a confident appearance, you have to create and manage your reputation. All of these things will impact how fast you move up the corporate ladder. So here are some of the lesser known rules of the work world that will help you get ahead.
Outfits that showcase your professional personality
While more and more offices are adopting casual work wear, it doesn’t mean that you can't simply turn up wearing a pair of jeans and an ‘i love tequila’ t-shirt to work. Ultimately, you need to cultivate a professional image, which will depend on your personality and your career. It’s fair to say that if you work in marketing, your outfit can be more adventurous than if you are in a legal profession. In case of doubt, smart/casual is always a good solution as it brings both your professionalism and your personality to shine. A comfy cardigan or jacket with a cute top and a pencil skirt can give you all the confidence you need to rock a business meeting, just like our pics in this post.
Language that conveys your ideas
Do you feel confident sharing your thoughts with colleagues or are you the kind of person who can’t summarize ideas on a powerpoint presentation or expound eloquently when you are put on the spot? There’s nothing worse than having a great idea but not finding the words to share it effectively. We have a youtube video on giving effective work presentations. And, if you struggle with putting your creativity into words, you might want to listen to A.J. Hoge's podcast. He gives great tips to not only speak fluently, but confidently and convincingly to your bosses and peers.
Tools that keep the work and life in balance
Work/life balance is one of those trendy terms that pop out in a casual conversation, and that can get you thinking. Have you achieved the balance everyone is talking about? You need to manage your time between job and free-time effectively, especially if you want to stay performant and focused when you’re in the office. As everyone needs down time, you can develop a feeling for yours with apps such as TimeTune and ATracker that monitor your routines and give you insight on how you can add more down time to your day. Also if you want some life hacks to being more productive you can also listen to the Not Wonder Woman podcast's first episode with our hustle and flow productivity hacks.
A Network that Attracts Others
Last, but not least, you can’t move your career further if you don’t know anybody. That’s precisely why using a professional platform such as LinkedIn can be useful to make new connections. Niche down your profile to stand out. There’s no point using a broad description that puts you against millions of others. Use your LinkedIn profile to tell a story that effectively attracts the connections you need. Also if you need more insight on how to network, you can check out this video with 4 Tips to Make Networking Easier and More Effective.
From networking to professional outfits, you need more than academic knowledge to boost your career and we hope this post gives you some inspo to keep climbing the corporate ladder! And if you want to get started on that professional wardrobe you can check out our specially curated boutique or get this exact look below. Just click on pictures to be taken to each item.
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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