Even though nearly all of us don’t think about it much but we all possess a professional image. Your professional image resembles your personal brand but it is recognizable at the same time. Eventually everyone has an individual and special message in their personal brand that conveys their entity and profession. How you conduct your life on daily basis is considered your professional image and that’s the message you want to send about your abilities, your individuality and your responsibilities.
There is a huge gap between how we would like others to perceive us, professional image wise, and how our colleagues actually do perceive us. This appears clearly in the unsatisfactory results we receive of certain assessments.
In order to generate the professional image you want others to see, you should begin by creating a list of how you would like to be perceived. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How people perceive me now? Take into consideration your manager’s, client’s and colleague’s impression of you. How do they act with you in meetings? Are they making time for your calls? Do they give you good projects? These answers are signs and clues that tell you how people see you.
- How do I present verbally? Are you eloquent in your speeches and comfortable in delivering your message or are you abrupt and annoyed? Are you friendly or cold? Take into account your tone and words, and make sure that these aspects are used the way you intend them to be.
- What does my body language say about me? Do you use hasty and erratic gestures or effortless and certain ones? Do you practice eye contact? To figure it out, observe yourself in a mirror and detect your body language and your traits through a normal interaction.
- Is my work conduct the way I want it to be? Are you receiving important projects and accomplishing them successfully? Do they give you promotions or new learning opportunities? What is happening with you can tell you a lot about how people see you.
Once you are done evaluating yourself, mark the areas that are filled with holes and construct a plan. Decide on particular targets, which will help you reach the image your request. Would it help you if you take some public speaking courses? Or if you participate in a workshop related to your work? Fill the holes you detected to develop your professional image.