Can a makeover boost your career? It sure can, say some professional coaches. Think about it, sometimes when we give ourselves a little revamp, it boosts our confidence and people take notice. And confidence is a way to impress your boss, your clients, and also a job recruiter.
“If you are looking for a new job, you should definitely revamp your image,” women in business coach Jen DeVore Richter, co-author of Amplify Your Business, told us. “It is important to ensure that both your personal image and your online image are up-to-date and in alignment with your career goals and marketable to employers. [A makeover] absolutely can help your career by making you feel more confident, appear put together, and stand out in a competitive hiring marketplace.”
Sometimes a new promotion at the same job even calls for a new look. “I once had a luxury brand manager move to Milan from Sydney and she was not being respected by her Italian colleagues (male and female). Someone advised her that it may be her casual style which is not highly accepted in Milan,” said professional image consultant Melanie Payge. “After a few days together she was amazed by the changes we’d made in her executive look and it highly impacted her working life here in Milan… It’s important to understand the environment before starting a new position.”
Image can go a long way, not just in the way others perceive you but also your owb self-image, Andrea Fairweather, creator of Fairweather Cosmetics, explained. “I believe when one is looking for a new job they should consider a revamping of their image. By doing so, their spirit will immediately be uplifted and hopefully, should they get the job, then they will enter it with a fresh new look.”
Just to be clear, we’re talking about a makeover here and not a miracle. A new outfit won’t change your skillset or who you are as a person. Before attempting to change aspects of your appearance, reexamine your feelings and your circumstances. Ask yourself why you’re doing a makeover.
“Often people think if things haven’t been going well for them at work, that it’s a fresh start elsewhere that they need. What people don’t realize is that revamping your image might boost your confidence initially, yet when presented with similar circumstances or pressures in the new job, a new hair do or a new wardrobe of clothes won’t cut it and they’ll be back to feeling how they did before, with a lower bank balance which financed their superficial makeover,” wrote professional behavior and relationship experts Mark and Nicky Taylor, directors of The Taylor Life Company. “Think about the real reason why you want a new job and be honest with yourself, is it as part of your planned goals for progression or is it to get away from something you’re not happy about? If it is to get away from something you are not happy with then think about the part you play in that. Not something that people readily do, yet it’s those who look within themselves and challenge themselves in this way, who are successful in life.”
If you don’t take this important step, your issues will follow you to your next job and a new designer suit and haircut won’t change that.
–Dress the part: “The makeover depends on the company you are going to apply to– but as a starter you should have a “clean” look. No, ponytail with dirty hair (we know the difference). Yes, ponytail with clean hair,” explained Nicky Taylor.
–Look for “budget friendly” changes: Not everyone can hire an image consultant and go on a shopping spree. But there are ways to change your look without breaking the bank. “One of the biggest changes most women opt to make would be to try a different hairstyle and or wardrobe update. One other option that is budget friendly yet quite effective would be to try a different lipstick shade. That is a great mood booster,” suggested Fairweather. “If you are working on a budget, instead of going all out and completely changing the look of your hair (color/cut), you can simply try styling it in different ways. That way you will look and feel different without blowing your budget.”
–Do a DIY makeover: Spend some time researching fashion trends and what might work for you. “Review your favorite fashion magazine; choose an image that speaks to your new job position and your comfort level, then choose items from your closet that best reflect that look,” said Fairweather. “My company Fairweather Faces has a Traveling Beauty Kit to create your makeup look. It is a color-coded, patented system designed to guide you step by step.”
–Give yourself a “Mind Makeover” too: Work on the inside as well as the outside. “If a new job is part of your planned career progression, then make sure that you have the necessary capabilities and skills and the mindset to match to ensure success with the roles you are going to apply for, i.e. give yourself a ‘Mind Makeover,'” said Mark Taylor. “If you change the way that you look, there is no doubt that you will feel different, yet a makeover is only skin deep. When your makeover includes both a ‘Mind Makeover’ as well as how we appear externally, then you are onto a winner.”