7 tips for a PRofessional: How to look, feel and act at the top of your game

If branding is huge in Public Relations, then it’s huge on an everyday level. While promoting your organization, you are also your own walking brand.

So in order to preserve your namesake and avoid minor malfunctions, check out these tips for everyday use in the workplace.

1. Use a straw.

If you must have your Starbucks (or coffee) every morning, like I do, then you face the problem of potentially stained teeth. The simple fix: put a straw in your coffee. It may seem absurd, but it allows the coffee to bypass your teeth and keep those beautiful whites still as sparkly as ever. After your morning coffee, use mints instead of gum to freshen your breath. Or my favorite: Colgate Wisps.

2. Organize your workspace.
This may sound like a no-brainer but it’s not. The best work gets done when you feel like you are organized and on top of everything. So just straighten up those stray papers, remove all of those unnecessary items, and start with a fresh palette.

3. Save it for the club.
 While in a job interview, meeting, or other formal work setting- make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Yes, you know that short skirts/shorts and excessive cleavage is unacceptable by now, but what about the smaller issues? We don’t normally think about them. Shoulders should not be shown in an interview- EVER. That’s why they make suit jackets. Also, while it may be impressive that you can walk in 4-inch heels, save it for the club. Jewelry and makeup should be minimal; if you spend too much time getting ready, your future employer might think you will do this on a daily basis. Here are the quick essentials to remember for interviews: Women-low heels, Men-wear a tie, Everyone-wear a suit.

4. Don’t shower so much!
What? Yes, I’m only talking about hair here. Keep the hygiene consistent, but don’t wash your hair every day. Your hair recognizes the excessive dryness of your scalp and will over produce oils to counteract it. So your hair will actually be healthier if you wash it every other day. Another tip for healthy hair: at the end of your shower, rinse your hair out with cold water. The heat shocks your hair and skin a bit, so the cold water helps restore balance.

5. WWW
The Winning Work Wardrobe. For men, it’s pretty simple. Nice shirts, slacks, ties, jackets, and suits. Mix it up for casual Friday. For women, here are the WWW essentials:

  • black pencil skirt
  • black/nude pumps
  • black/navy/neutral dress
  • a few shells
  • a few blouses
  • classic dress shirts
  • cardigans
  • fitted blazer

6. You may not be in crisis communication, but stay prepared.
A meeting or work function can pop up during the day or straight after work and you don’t want it to be on the day you threw your hair up and went casual. Keep a blazer handy along with a few other items- mirror, brush, lint roller, Tide to Go– anything you might need in a moment’s notice.

7. Set your agenda.
Go ahead and make a tentative schedule for the day. If something pops up or changes, don’t panic, but at least you know what’s left to be accomplished when you return. At the end of the day, write out a tentative agenda for the next day. Make sure to put important items early because they are more likely to get done and less likely to be interrupted.

I have to credit Veronika Javor Romeis for some of the dressing tips, and there are many more great posts on her blog at Veronika’s Blushing.

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