Traditionally, women were raised to be the guardian of her future family hearth, to up bring and educate her kids, to keep the house tidy and to cook for the family. Now, modern women have more power. They work as hard as men to earn money, and succeed in their careers. But unfortunately in our society, we still have some troubles to be taken as seriously as men at work, especially if you are a young and beautiful lady at a “marriageable” age.
Full of energy and ambitions, I started working in an office at the age of 19. I followed all instructions carefully and willingly, double checking every single document. I was never late and didn’t leave before I’d finished my work. But no matter how good I was, they would never give me any important issues. Even if they did and I handled them, they would not even notice it. Yes, I’m sure the reasons for that were my gender and my age. A good looking single girl at 19 can’t be career focused, she must be thinking of cute boys and marriage, and work is just one of the ways to expand her network. What if not? What if you are a young and beautiful lady who wants to succeed in her career? How can you make people around you and your boss believe in you, and take you as a serious employee?
Later, in my career I understood one very important thing. Business is all about people and money. To succeed you need to market your work. Yes, exactly – to market it! Because if you do your job perfectly, but present it as something very modest and not special, nobody is going to believe in it and pay for it. So, yes the presentation plays a big role in your career. Hence your looks matter too.
No, I’m not saying looks are everything, but I believe that the way you are diligent about your look tells a lot about how you are diligent about other things you do, so, here are some tips on how to look mature and professional:
• Even if you work in a super casual environment, I strongly recommend that you should never show up to work with no makeup and bad hair. Light, fresh makeup and braided hair work fine for both a casual and dress coded environment.
• No matter how good you think you look, stay away from transparent blouses or shorter skirts, it’s just not right for a professional setting and a real lady. You want people to appreciate your work, not your body, right?
• Every lady working in an office should have several white shirts. Perfectly ironed white dress shirt makes you look very neat and toned up.
• Do not wear the same thing 2 days in a row. First of all things go bad when you wear them often, secondly changing clothes shows that you care and prepare for work every day. Personally, I plan what I will wear tomorrow in the evening, so I am not in a rush and have more time for makeup and hair in the morning. Every single morning, without exception, I send a photo of my looks to my best friend. It is kind of a daily fashion report. It motivates me to be in form daily.
• Make a special time-table for yourself. For example if you wear classy heels to work every day from Monday to Thursday; Fridays try to wear almond shaped toe flat shoes (I wouldn’t show up in an office in sneakers even if it’s Friday). If you want to look professional !PLEASE Stay away from super high heeled striptease shoes. If your intention is to be a good employee and succeed in your career why would you kill yourself walking in such uncomfortable shoes from 9 to 6? If you think that they make you look beautiful, you are very wrong. Stilts make your walk look funny.
• Never wear white shoes. Skin color shoes are just fine. Sandals and slippers are also NOT acceptable.
• Beautifully manicured hands are necessary. But unfortunately many of our young ladies do not know the “the golden mean”. Super long tiger claws polished in a bright color with shinny crystals on it will definitely not make you look professional, as well as super long mermaid hair extensions. Try to keep it as natural as you can.
• Wearing pantyhose is always advisable for the ladies who love skirts. Choose nude, black or tanned colored pantyhose depending on what you wear and stay away from the heavily patterned ones, or even worse fishnets. No matter how trendy they are, it is not appropriate for the office. If your summer is very hot and you can’t handle wearing pantyhose, then stay away from skirts and stick to the light cotton pants with knee socks (showing off your toes at work is also not acceptable).
• The right accessories make your outfit more unique and give it your own style. But always keep in mind “less is more”. If your accessories help your coworkers to indicate your whereabouts, it’s not a good sign.
• Recently they say that wearing perfume in such places like work, public transportation, etc is considered unacceptable, but personally I think that wearing perfume is advisable. Coco Chanel said it well – “A woman, who doesn’t wear perfume, has no future”. So, just avoid wearing it too much, so it doesn’t trigger attention. Spray a little bit of perfume on the inner wrists, the base of the throat, behind the knees, the inner elbows, and behind the ears, so only those who are very close to you can smell it. If you are going to have a long day, apply a little bit of it on your hair so it lasts longer.
Remember, the key is to work intelligently hard, so no one questions if you’re their equal, and you’re being the best while at the same time staying true to being a real lady.