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Monday, May 29, 2017

Spreading the Word

I recently spoke with a group of executive assistants about the importance of presenting a consistent professional and polished image in the workplace. This presentation was called, "Dress Like a Boss, Even if You're Not the Boss." Each time I talk to women about this topic, I wonder if this information is valuable and necessary, and after each presentation, that question is answered with a resounding "YES!" I typically get follow up and feedback that lets me know the importance of sharing this message. I think we all, at an intellectual level, understand the benefits of looking the part, dressing for success, and putting your best foot forward. But I also think that if style and fashion are not at the top of the list of a woman's priorities, they may not get the attention they deserve.

Executive assistants are the veins and arteries of their organizations. They hold a tremendous amount of power and interact with people at the highest levels inside and outside of their companies. Executive assistants are a direct reflection of the leaders they support, whether they're communicating over the phone or electronic means, face-to-face meetings, organizing events, etc. Each interaction, and each method of communicating, including their style of dress is sending a message. And f
or those executive assistants who are looking to eventually move up and explore other career opportunities, people will have a hard time seeing them in an elevated role if they're not showing up that way.

And it's not just about dressing the part for an important meeting or event - it's about consistently dressing in such a way that reinforces the brand of professionalism and polish.

Back in April, I had the pleasure of conducting a style workshop at Girls, Inc. in Philadelphia. The focus of this workshop was how to dress for various occasions, ranging from job interviews, business casual, daytime to evening events, etc. The workshop included an interactive component that allowed the young women to pull together each look with clothing and accessories that I brought with me. The ladies had a lot of interesting questions, and were very enthusiastic about the styling component.

It certainly takes a lot more than pretty packaging to achieve success, but it's a critical component. When you don't have the opportunity to demonstrate your intelligence and competence, your appearance can give the world a snapshot of what you have to offer. And just like anything that else that is important, it takes some time and effort, but it's certainly worth the investment.

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Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!