Spring cleaning is long-standing, tradition practiced in many diverse countries around the world. This ubiquity is founded in the practicality of cleaning one’s home after a long winter; the weather is finally warm enough to open doors to clear out dust and clutter.
Similarly, as we switch out our winter wardrobes for lighter fabrics, it is practical to give some thought to refreshing our professional image.
As you pack up your wool sweaters and bring crop pants back into rotation, consider whether your image is reflective of the professional you are today. Are you the same person you were when you wore these items last spring? Has your image caught up with the growth and accomplishments you’ve undergone in the last year?
A quick formula to upgrade your image is to follow these three steps:
Edit your closet: You may assume that dressing better starts with purchasing new clothes, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Looking your best each day isn’t the result of owning volumes of clothing, but rather of expertly coordinating quality items together to compliment your figure and intended image. A packed, disorganized closet is an obstacle to making good choices. Audit your closet to eliminate everything that doesn’t fit or flatter. Repair or tailor everything that needs a little TLC to look its best. Try on all your clothes again and coordinate them in new combinations to find out what works best with the body you have today. A streamlined, organized closet will make it easier to make good decisions in the morning rush.
Update your social media profiles: Review your online presence to determine if it adequately represents you. Update LinkedIn with new credentials and career objectives. Evaluate other networking sites to assess how well they support your long-term career goals – you may need to reconsider the personal brand you’re reflecting with them. Most importantly, clean up your online presence to remove anything that could undermine your professionalism. Nothing is private in today’s digital world.
Sign up for a professional development course: Now that you’ve tweaked your professional profiles, have you identified any missing links in your experience? Take advantage of the extra energy that comes with longer days to sign up for professional development workshops or enroll in a new course. In today’s competitive world, continual improvement is the only way to thrive. Freshen up your professional offerings with new education (and quickly add it to your updated profiles).