Whether you’re self-employed or just want to improve your career, it’s important to appear professional. That doesn’t mean you have to be in work mode every hour of the day. But it does mean you need to take some small steps to appear more professional when talking to potential employers or customers. Here’s how to do it.
Organizational skills are essential if you want to appear professional. People often make the mistake of thinking you’re either born organized or you’re not. This isn’t true. Being organized is a skill that you can work on. Plan every week before it starts, put aside time for admin every day, and keep your space tidy.
Being late is one of the most unprofessional things you can do. There are times when it is unavoidable, thanks to a ridiculous traffic jam or a family emergency. But for 99% of the time, you need to be punctual. Factor in time for unexpected delays and use the mantra: 15 minutes early is 15 minutes late.
Dress the part
The clothes you wear tell people a lot about you. You might not be into fashion but you still need to dress the part. If you are attending a business meeting, wear a suit. If you’re a plumber, wear a polo shirt with a company logo on it. It’s important to look professional.
If you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it. Even if it cuts into your free time. Reliability is one of the most important factors in appearing professional. Customers, employers, and everyone else should know that they can count on you.
Be a good communicator
Communication is a skill. Some people are natural communicators. Everyone else needs to practice to improve. With excellent communication skills, you will appear far more professional. It’s not rocket science either. Practice speaking slowly and clearly, and plan what you need to say before a meeting or phone call.
Not everyone is born with bulletproof confidence. However, you can fake it to a certain extent. Puff out your chest, walk with purpose, and don’t play with your hair during a meeting. Try to appear confident and people will respect you more.
Mistakes are inevitable. At some point, you’re going to make one at work or with a customer. The important thing is how you deal with that mistake. You need to be accountable and take responsibility.
Get the simple things right
When it comes to appearing professional, it’s all about the small details. For example, if you’re running a small business, you should have a logo, a website, an email signature from Rocketseed.com. All of these things will show customers that you are professional.
Maintain a positive attitude
It’s difficult to be positive all of the time. Life isn’t a Disney film. However, you should try to maintain a positive attitude when you’re working. Don’t get involved with office drama, don’t talk badly about your customers or coworkers, and try to make your work life happy.