When Moving C-Level Roles, You Appearance Matters A lot
So you’re ready to move up the ladder.
Whether this means tossing your hat in the ring for a C-level position at a corporation, launching your own business or simply going for the next promotion in your organization, it’s important to think about how you represent yourself.
Many business people I meet think about everything but their appearance. They put energy and time into developing new skills, spiffing up their marketing materials and attending networking events.
These things are all important, but it’s also important to remember that the way you present yourself is paramount in establishing others’ perception of who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing.
In fact, studies have shown “that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.”
Carol Kinsey Goman – Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression
This means that you can give yourself a serious upper hand if your appearance resonates with our cultural sense of what upper management should look like. If that feels overwhelming, read on for some quick tips to leverage your position in the work space.
Tip #1: Dress a Step Above
At the upper management level, it’s imperative that you present yourself as a step above the rest. Studies have shown that men who dress better earn more money and women who dress better are more easily able to ensure security in their work situation.
Cheryl Conner – Can Dressing Well Increase Your Income in 2013?
Now, with those statistics in hand, doesn’t it make sense to dress for the role you wish to achieve? Dressing the part of a C-level executive positions you as a C-level executive. It may feel a little funny at first, especially if you’re still working at a lower level, but don’t be afraid to stand out. After all, the role of upper management is to boldly lead the organization in a focused direction.
Tip #2: Connect the Dots
New clients often come to me and regret the fact that they have been overlooked in the past. They attest that they’re intelligent, they have all the skills they need for success in an advanced position and they have a great personality.
That may all be true, but if there is a disconnection between your fantastic abilities and the way you present yourself to the world, you can say good-bye to the upcoming promotion opportunity.
Putting care into your appearance means tasteful grooming, clothing that compliments your body and a presentation that is congruent with the company’s brand. For instance, an employee at Google in laid-back Southern California may be able to show up in a pair of sharp sneakers while an employee at JP Morgan in New York City would be ill advised to do the same.
Does your appearance match the company brand and culture? If so, you’re likely on your way toward a bigger salary.
Tip #3: Dress Your Age
Looking age-appropriate is vital to success if you’re seeking to up-level your status in the company. It can feel tempting to pick up a too-tight pair of slacks at Nordstrom (and I’m sure they look great on you), but depending on your age, those slacks could make people think that you don’t really know yourself.
Ultimately, the goal in dressing yourself properly is to effortlessly match your unique personality with your goals. This can be a little more tricky than simply going to the mall and picking out a few items of clothing off the rack. If you’re ready to up your game and really step into the career you envision, let’s talk.