You keep wondering:
(1) Why your qualifications and professional experiences have been outstanding, and yet you keep getting passed over for opportunities for the next job promotion?
(2) You continue to upgrade your skills and professional knowledge after work, and yet your boss still remains to sound dismissive of your proposals, as well as your other constructive suggestions at work?
(3) You always try to be supportive to your colleagues and never bad badmouthed others at work, unfortunately your actions are constantly under scrutiny, and your motives, as well as your competence could never break free from skepticism of your peers.
All these may sound very superficial, and standards for professional image might very slightly from industry to industry – however, if you do NOT take your own professional image seriously, others would also have a hard time take you and your work seriously too.
All it comes down to is a powerful visual statement of your professional competence and who you are as a leader. According to Mary Lou Andre, “A successful professional image sends the signal that you are at the top of your game.”
Civil servants worldwide are not known for their sharp and eye-catching dress codes. However, having recognized the importance of professional images and how they present themselves to the people they serve, I was invited to provide a 1/2-day training session entitled: Professional Image Building for Leadership Essentials Program (LEP) for the Civil Service Training and Development Institute under the Civil Service Bureau of Hong Kong (SAR).
The aims of this Program aimed at developing promising junior/middle managers from various Hong Kong Government bureaux/departments –preparing them for success in future roles as confident, successful, as well as innovative leaders.
This half-day intensive training session on Professional Image Building was one of the core components of the LEP, under the Module of Powerful Presentation. With a preceding session on how to prepare and deliver high impact presentations, this Session was designed to enhance individual participants’ professional image for boosting their confidence, likeability and credibility, as well as other attributes, etc.
For example, the Session was tailor-made especially for developing individual participants to:
(a) appreciate the importance of personal imaging;
(b) sharpen their visual appearance with proper dressing and grooming to suit the work settings while presenting a positive and professional image;
(c) acquire the proper business and social etiquette for building rapport and networking in different work settings.