So, what about those days when you just aren’t feeling it? We all feel less than confident sometimes. We get stressed, tired, or overworked and it all takes a toll. Some days it takes all you’ve got to just show up to work on time, much less to look impeccable and and fresh-faced doing it. Wrinkled shirts, scuffed shoes, and flubbed presentations happen when you aren’t feeling your best. And it’s a slippery slope because a lack of confidence leads to mistakes which in turn can lead to an even bigger confidence deficit. But you have to find a way to work through those days. If you’re trying to climb up that corporate ladder, you’ve got to keep it all in check. Because the hard truth of it is, what people see on the outside is what shapes their opinion of you. This is why a great attitude should always be complemented by great clothes and styling as well. So regardless of how you’re feeling on the inside, you have to present your best self to the outside world as much as you can while you’re at work.
Obviously you want to know your office dress code and adhere to it, but it never hurts to spice it up a little, all while making sure you stay within the guidelines. Taking it up a notch in how you dress is a good way to get noticed. Not only does it show the higher-ups that you are detail-oriented and put in the extra effort to be presentable, but it also makes you feel good. And when you feel good, it’s hard not to exude confidence. So take the time to invest in some classic and stylish work attire that will give you a boost of energy at the office. While women can’t go wrong with wearing pant suits, dresses, blazers, and blouses with women’s loafers, ballet flats, or heels; men can never go wrong with classic outfits like a crisp button down, slacks, and an interesting tie. You may be able to get away with nice jeans as well if your office allows it. Focus on pieces that make you feel good and fit well. A good fit means you won’t be tugging at clothing that is too small, or pulling up necklines that fall to low—fidgeting with your clothes does not convey confidence.
Keep your desk neat and organized. By having an orderly workstation, it will look like you have it all together, even if you’re feeling otherwise. A cluttered space can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed, which is a clear confidence-buster. Surely, you can be a maximalist and have lots of stuff around, but regardless of your style, make sure you keep your things in order!
Go above and beyond
Strive to go above and beyond what’s expected of you at work, especially if you’re a newbie. Consistently showing your boss that you put in the work to go the extra mile pays off. He’ll quickly learn that he can count on you, and it’ll feel good to know that you are making yourself invaluable at work. There’s nothing like feeling confident in your job security to add a little extra pep to your step.
Set up an email signature
The icing on the professional cake is an eye-catching email signature. Your contacts and clients will appreciate seeing that all your correspondences are thoughtful and polished. Plus, email signatures have handy contact information right there so your place in the company will be reinforced every time you send a message. Make sure to remember to only use your work email while you’re at the office—save your personal email for friends and family.
Practice the handshake
It might sound simple, but work on your handshake. When meeting new clients or higher-ups in your office, you’ll immediately be able to establish a connection with them if you present a firm handshake. A good grip signals confidence, and you are more likely to have meetings or projects go smoothly if all people involved trust that you will do your job well.
Ask for feedback
No one likes criticism, so this can be hard to do. But asking for professional feedback shows that you care about your job and your performance. Your boss will see and appreciate that you have the guts to ask, so try to be brave about discussing your shortcomings. Constructive criticism can sting a little, but you’ll benefit a great deal by knowing what you are doing right and what you need to improve on. No more silently stressing and wondering what you’re doing wrong or how your boss sees you. Having a clear vision on how you’re perceived at work will certainly boost your confidence levels.
Small changes to your everyday routine can help you tremendously improve your work life. As today we are immersed into work and spending long office hours, it is essential to make sure that, while they may require hard work, they are the best they can be and have the potential to help your life overall.