If you have ever felt like your level of professionalism has been questioned, or like you’re a child in a sea of grownups at work? Are you seeking out the perfect path to professionalism without anyone knowing?
If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, you are not alone. Many people feel the same way you do, and you can use these eight easy steps to help you at least appear more professional than you actually might be.
If you don’t naturally wear glasses, you should feel lucky. However, it doesn’t have to stop you from receiving the benefits that come with wearing them. Walking into your office with a quality pair of glasses can have your co-workers questioning who you are and why you look so professional. Additionally, glasses are tactical. You can pull them out during a meeting to give off the impression that you really are paying attention.
Carry a Briefcase
It doesn’t matter who you are, if you see someone carrying a briefcase, you’ve likely thought that they have an essential job. You’ve probably even found yourself wondering what’s hidden inside the case of secrets. Who knows? But, if you can’t beat them, then join them. Whether you feel under the weather, or you’re running late, and your hair is a message, and your shirt is wrinkling, fewer people are going to notice if you’re carrying a briefcase.
Schedule Fake Meetings
If your schedule isn’t full of meetings, that poses the question: are you really that high in demand? If you don’t get asked to attend many meetings, you can merely make them up. It’s vital that you schedule a room so it looks legit, and pack your laptop case with some headphones. Using headphones enables you to listen to music while giving off the impression that you’re on an important Skype call. You can also take the time to call your mom.
Make Louder Business Calls
Professionalism sometimes means that you have to stand up for yourself and that occasionally means being a nuisance to others you might work with. While louder business calls and pacing around the obvious is obnoxious and might annoy your co-workers, it definitely has you looking more critical in your role.
Use Business Jargon
It’s easy to believe that someone is a true professional when they are continuously using words that sound important, even if you don’t know what they mean. Try taking some of the terminologies and implementing them into your daily vocabulary. Instead of asking your boss if they want to get lunch, trying messaging them to ask them if they have the “bandwidth to synergize” – they are going to be shocked.
Keep Lots of Stationery
Owning stationery typically means one of three things: you teach primary school, you’re a university student, or you’re a professional. Head down to Staples or other business chains and pick up some fancy pens and stationery. Even if you don’t use it much, one of those pens looks great in your pocket.
Keep LinkedIn Open
If you always have people passing your workstation, it’s only natural that they sneak a peek at what’s on your screen now and then. It’s suggested that you keep the LinkedIn homepage open in a separate tab. When people approach you, it gives you the chance to switch and start searching through the professional network that you’ve built.
Invest in a Headpiece
Even if Bluetooth headpieces seem like they’re from the mid-2000’s, they’re still highly popular today, and you can find them for a fraction of the cost now. If you give off the impression that you barely have the time to pull out your cell phone, people are automatically going to think you’re relevant and professional.
No matter what you do, using any of the above tips are going to help boost your professional appearance. Everyone can benefit from appearing more professional than they might actually be; it just takes a little work. It’s even possible that playing the role of someone super important and professional might lead you to that position in the future.