• Your professional image is important for your career
  • Create a unique identity to stand out among the crowd
  • Be consistent over the long term and you’ll reap the benefits
There’s usually one person in the office that often seems to stand out in a good way more than others. And, it’s not because they are self-promoting peacocks. In fact, their professional image just oozes confidence without an inkling of ego.

Oscar is exactly that person. He’s the polar opposite of the office asshole. He’s very well put together in terms of his style, mannerisms, demeanor and work ethic. A lot of people think he’s next in line to get promoted to middle management.

People know when he is part of the meeting or call. His presence and the things he says and does all contribute positively to his personal brand at work. He’s got a quiet confidence that’s unshakeable.

Olivia is also one of these up-n-comers at the office. She’s not a bitch boss at all. She supports her team and does what a great leader does - she leads, defends and elevates her team. A lot of people want to work for her.

One of her hallmark traits is that she’ll be the first one to stick her neck out for the team. It’s kinda become her thing to do.

Both Oscar and Olivia stand out in a good way because of their unique professional images. And, it’s definitely paying off in terms of their career progress.

This can work for you too. 

Why A Unique Professional Image Is Important

When you think of a professional image, the first thing that comes to mind is a person’s outfit or attire. It’s the first thing people see when they are introduced to a new person. So, how you dress does have an impact on how others perceive you.

But, that’s really only the first impression. And while it is very important, there are other factors that have a greater impact on your image over the long run. These other factors include things like the quality of your work, your presentation skills, the depth of your knowledge, how you interact with and treat others, etc.

For the most part, everyone plays nice and acts like adults at work. And, the company culture plays a significant role in moderating how employees behave. This ultimately creates a somewhat homogeneous profile spectrum with some variation and nothing on the extremes.

In other words, everyone pretty much behaves similarly. There aren’t any standout profiles. And in some circumstances, that’s a good thing.

However, in your case, you don’t want to just blend in with the masses at work. You don’t want to become an anonymous clock puncher that does bullshit shallow work all day like some digital version of a production line worker.

This is not good because you won’t get noticed. And, if you don’t get noticed, you won’t get the fucking recognition you deserve. With less recognition, there’s less of a chance of getting promoted.

You see where we’re going with this?

Your professional image not only has to be on the up and up but it also has to be unique for you to stand out.

5 Ways To Create A Unique Professional Image

Creating a unique professional image isn’t rocket science. There are a ton of ways you can build your image. In fact, just the topic of work attire alone can go on forever.

With so many options, choices and “things you should do”, it can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed AF and it becomes hard to know exactly where to start.

One thing’s for sure. You can’t do everything all at once. You gotta start small so you can get some quick results and feel good about yourself. And celebrating small victories is just the way to do that.

So, we’ve narrowed things down to five simple things you can do to start forming your unique image at work. These are all easy enough to start today without much effort. Mix and match and find the combination that works for you.

1) Signature Outfit & Accessory

As much as it would be fun to do, going out on a shopping spree to change your style overnight isn’t a good strategy here. Buying new outfits and updating your entire wardrobe ain’t cheap.

The better way to do this is to start small by replacing just one or two old and worn-out outfits with new ones, not your entire closet. Maybe start with your WFH dress code outfits. Transition your wardrobe over time and find your unique style that you can be consistent on.

If you don’t want to be all spendy right now, a really great cost-effective way to add a little signature style element is to wear one particular accessory consistently. This is the proverbial “feather in your cap”. This could be a lapel pin, bracelet, watch, necklace etc. Make it “your thing” and people will remember you for it.

2) Powerpoint Presentation Style

There are basically two kinds of Powerpoint presentations. One is the text-heavy kind with lots of words and numbers. The other is more visual-based with charts and images. Both are good and they both serve different purposes.

In either case, you can use this medium as a way to showcase your persona. Presentations can be a great way to make your mark and showcase your abilities and knowledge.

You can develop a positive reputation when you become known for having well-organized and logical presentations that tell the story clearly. You can further add your mark by using cool Powerpoint images, unique templates or using certain icons or layouts.

3) Positive Thing You Do For Others

One of the biggest things that impact how others perceive you is how you treat others in various situations. Most everyone usually treats others with respect unless you work in one of those cut-throat work cultures.

To stand out more among your fellow coworkers, find and develop one specific positive thing that you can be known for. Again, make it “your thing”.

You can be known for always bringing free donuts on Fridays, leaving handwritten thank you sticky notes with smileys, praising a coworker in front of their boss or whatever positive office karma action you can think of.

Becoming known for being that person that always creates positivity at work will definitely make you shine brighter.

4) Digital Signature Tagline

Not everyone uses the automatic Outlook email signature feature. A lot of people just end their email with a short thanks and their name. Sometimes, it’s nothing at all.

This is an opportunity for you to be different in a good way. And, it is so simple and quick.

You can use the automatic signature feature to add a tiny bit of joy and happiness to every email you send out. Who knows, you just might be able to trigger some happiness at work for those that receive your emails.

You can do this by adding a little something fun to the usual thanks, regards and sincerely along with your contact information. This could be an emoji, famous quotes, inspirational thoughts, personal tagline, etc.

Stay away from politics and religion. Keep it short, positive, funny and uplifting.

5) One Consistent Leadership Trait

If there’s one thing that you should do to stand out from the crowd, it is to consistently exhibit one positive leadership trait. If you can do this consistently, the folks around you and from up top will begin to notice.

This can be any number of things including serving as a peer mentor to help others develop, volunteering to be part of strategic committees, publicly recognizing the hard-working introverts, doing what’s right despite profit impacts, taking accountability to the fullest, etc.

Think about one and only one leadership trait that meshes with your personality and work ethic and run with it. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin here. The point is to become so good at it that it becomes second nature and you do it without thinking.

This will then become part of your unique personality at work.

Make “Brand You” A Reality & Stand Out

Nobody wants to be an anonymous and easy-to-forget staffer at work. We all yearn to be valued, recognized and respected by our colleagues. It’s what motivates us to keep the momentum going, strive forward and overcome challenges.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen automatically. And if you tend to be more of an introvert, this can be an even bigger challenge.

However, the good news is that you don’t need to give yourself an instant personality makeover. This is an evolution of your personality and professional image. It’s not going to happen overnight, nor should it.

Start with small changes to lay the groundwork and build up your confidence. Then, with each little improvement, you’ll be able to add your unique identity and style to it.

Soon enough, you’ll become a stand-out personality just like Oscar and Olivia.

You can do this.

Feel Better,

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