Not everyone is so blessed that they get to wake up every day looking like Jason Momoa or Tom Cruise or Blake Lively or Bella Hadid. It’s just the honest truth. Most of us are just average.
While you shouldn’t beat yourself up about not being as gorgeous as these famous models and movie stars, you should understand that the way you look does matter, especially in the professional world.
In fact, a Harvard study showed that workers of above-average beauty earned 10% to 15% more than workers of below-average beauty, which is a bit messed up if you ask me. But, it’s how the world works.
So, what am I getting at here? Am I suggesting that you should go out and get plastic surgery to get an entirely new face? Of course not! You should love who you are and how you look. But, when it comes time to get professional, you should want to look as good as you can and as professional as possible.
So, whether you have an upcoming job interview, a sales pitch, a college interview, or you’re just showing up to the office for another day at work, I’m going to give you 6 ways that you can instantly look more professional and show everyone in the work world that you mean business.
These are 6 things that you can do to instantly look more professional.
According to certain surveys, the first thing that people notice when they first meet you is your smile. I know that life isn’t always peaches and cream. And, sometimes, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you don’t want to do anything except stay home and binge-watch Netflix all day. But, if you can make a concerted effort to smile whenever you’re talking to someone, it’s going to go a long way.
First of all, a smile is a hallmark of a confident person. And people are always more willing to trust people at work who are confident.
Just think about it: if you’re going for that new promotion and your boss sees you moping around and frowning all the time, do you really think they’re going to want to trust you with that new position? Of course not!
And, if you’re already in a position of managing others, then smiling can instill confidence in those around you, which will help everyone do a better job.
On top of that, by smiling, you’re actually tricking your brain into thinking that you’re happy. So, by smiling more, you’ll actually begin to feel happier. And happier people tend to be way more productive at work.
So, if you want people to have confidence in you and you want to actually be better at your job or in your studies, try smiling more. It’ll benefit you and everyone around you.
#2: Dress Better
For one, people who dress well typically feel better about themselves. And that’s going to make you more confident when you’re going into an interview or when you’re walking into your boss’s office to ask them for a raise or a promotion.
Plus, you never know when you’re going to need to make a good first impression. Your next potential employer could walk into your office any day and, if they see you dressed like a bum, they’re going to glance right over you and never think about you again. If you’re dressed for success, they’ll take notice and you might form a good business relationship.
Dressing well also tells people that you’re serious about your job. It tells people that you care enough about presenting yourself in a professional manner that you’re willing to get up earlier in the morning and make sure you look up to snuff.
If you aren’t dressed well, it sends the message that you don’t give a damn, to be quite honest. And, no one wants to hire or promote someone that doesn’t give a damn.
I’m not saying that you have to go out and spend thousands on an Armani suit. But, find a brand that’s in your price range and that looks clean and professional (and don’t go too flashy). Then, just stick with that brand.
Iron your shirts. Make sure you’re always tucked in. And don’t be afraid to add a subtle flair. If you have no idea what professional dress looks like, do some research on the internet. There are plenty of resources online that will tell you exactly what’s appropriate to wear on certain occasions and what’s not.
Dressing professionally isn’t rocket science, it just requires a little effort and a little money.
#3: Practice Personal Hygiene
Listen: you do not want to be the smelly person at the office. You don’t want people talking behind your back about how you smell like a dumpster. It’s just not a good look.
And, you also don’t want to be stinky or unkempt when you’re talking to a potential employer, when you’re in an interview, or when you’re meeting a client.
If you show up to a meeting with your hair all messy or your breath stinks or you have mountains of dirt under your fingernails, it just sends the message that you don’t really care about how you present yourself. And that’s going to lower people’s opinions of you in a professional capacity.
So, practice good personal hygiene. It’s going to make you look more professional and it’s also going to boost your confidence and self-respect. Here are some of the things that are included in personal hygiene: cleaning your body every day, washing your hands, brushing your teeth twice a day, and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Sneezing straight in your interviewer’s face is a great way to not get hired.
All of these things are habits that you should practice every day because, first of all, they’re good for you and they’re going to make you feel better about yourself. It’s going to boost your self-esteem and make you more confident to approach people.
Plus, if you look like you take care of yourself, other people will trust you more to take care of their interests, which means you’ll be setting yourself up for new job hirings, promotions, and professional respect.
#4: Have Good Posture
Like most of the other things on this list, practicing good posture is both inherently good for you and it will change the way that others see you in a positive way. In fact, a study from Psychological Science suggested that practicing “posture expansiveness” (which is just a fancy term for putting your shoulders back and your chest out and standing up straight) can actually make people feel and behave as if they’re in charge.
And when you look like you’re in charge, people tend to treat you like you’re in charge too. Just look at the way that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson moves through a room. He walks with his chest out with this aura of authority and confidence. And you don’t have to be 300 pounds of pure muscle and have sick Samoan tattoos to walk like that.
You just have to focus on your posture and make sure that you’re always keeping your shoulders back, sitting up straight, and using your body to take up space. And people are instantly going to start respecting you more.
Plus, practicing good posture will also help decrease the wear and tear on your joints and it’s going to reduce bodily pain throughout your entire life. And that’s going to make it easier for you to be happy since you’re not constantly weighed down by chronic pain.
While it may seem slightly ridiculous, using products like posture straps that cost just $14 on Amazon can have a huge impact on your health and your confidence. You don’t have to wear them all the time but, when you’re sitting at home and watching TV or you have a work-from-home day when you’re sitting at your laptop all day, it’s good to put these on and make sure that you’re sitting up straight.
By doing so, you’ll be helping to build up the muscles in your back that keep you upright and, then, when you take the straps off, your body will naturally practice a better, more upright posture.
And, as I said, better posture leads to more confidence and more respect from your peers. If you want to be the boss, you have to look like the boss.
#5: Add Accessories
So, you went to Nordstrom Rack and you picked up a suit on the cheap that looks super clean and professional. Great! Unfortunately, that’s probably what everyone else in your office is doing too. And, if you want to be seen as a leader in your office, you need to get a little outside the pack and do more than just what everyone else is doing.
So, how can you add a little subtle flair to your outfit? Accessories. Personally, as a guy, I love the way a nice watch ties together a professional fit. Yes, I know that everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and there’s no need for a watch to tell the time. But, they really just make you look more sophisticated and can really grab people’s attention.
When I see someone wearing a nice watch, I think, Wow, this person has style and probably knows exactly what they’re doing in life. I’m not quite sure why a watch sends that message. It must be something subconscious.
Anyway, a watch isn’t the only accessory you might want to try out. Depending on what your style is, a ring or two on your fingers might send a message of style and confidence. Just look at Johnny Depp, He’s just about the most stylish dude on the planet and his rings are definitely a part of that.
Bracelets, necklaces, earrings. When used tastefully, all of these things can add to your overall look and make a positive impression on the people you meet.
A lot of people play the safe route and just wear the plain navy blue suit to work. But, by adding to your style with some classy accessories, you can stand out more.
Then, when your boss is considering who to give that promotion to, the image of your super cool ring or classy watch pops into their mind and you’re the first person on their list.
#6: Be Kind
You’ve probably heard the term “nice guys finish last” at some point in your life. And, in my opinion, that’s just complete and utter nonsense. If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from Gary Vee, the Belarusian businessman with a net worth of $160 million and probably the best social media presence in the world of finance. Seriously, if you haven’t seen his YouTube channel, go check that out.
But, on top of all of the other amazing advice that Gary Vee has offered to the world, he’s also been a major advocate for nice guys actually finishing first. As it says in Gary’s article: Kindness is strength and people want their leaders to be strong. When things get tough, a true leader keeps their composure and continues to treat their peers with kindness. They don’t flip out and get angry with everyone around them.
A true leader understands that encouraging people rather than putting them down is the best way to help others reach their full potential. And you can still be kind even when you have to make difficult and cutthroat decisions. A good leader understands that you can still be kind to others as human beings while also doing what needs to be done for a business.
So, if you want to look more professional and gain more respect from your peers. Be genuinely kind. And it has to be genuine. People can smell bullshit from a mile away.
And, if you’re selfish and mean but you try to hide it behind a curtain of fake kindness, you’re only going to be able to hide it for so long before people find you out.
In the words of Gary Vee, “nice guys don’t finish last, bad guys posing as nice guys do!” So, wake up every morning and do what you need to do in order to walk into your office with a kind heart.
Meditate, write out a list of things you’re thankful for, and practice doing one random act of kindness every day.
People respond to kindness. And, if you want to move up in the professional world, being the guy at the office that everyone loves is certainly a good place to start.