Looking professional in business, whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur or both, is more than on the surface. Looking good speaks to your reputation, the way you are perceived by your peers, your clients an everyone you encounter in your travels. Here are some snippets of wisdom on how to look good in a way that is not just skin deep, but goes all the way to your soul.
1- Looking good physically
You might not be on the cover of fashion magazine, however there are simple ways that you can look your best on the surface without surgery or spending a bundle on fashion and cosmetics. Drinking water, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet can do wonders. Getting fresh air, and not working so hard in a moonlighting job that your full time job suffers. There is no better fashion accessory that you can buy than a smile. If you don’t believe it Google that phrase and see how many hits you get. If you do have a side job, make sure you are doing something that makes you happy and fulfilled. Your full time job can fill your wallet but your full time job should fill your soul.
2- Protecting your reputation online
The best looking people making fools of themselves on the internet look the same as the least attractive ones. Keeping photos of yourself partying or in compromising situations off the web is advisable, as is setting your privacy settings on Facebook so if something does get posted that it won’t be spotted by potential clients.
If you have a side business, consider what might happen if your full time employer found out you were pursuing other interests during your off hours. If they are fine with it, or if it is a complementary pursuit to your full time career, post your business on LinkedIn, Twitter and the like however you might want to keep a low profile otherwise. Be supportive on social media, resist joining the trolls. Congratulate people for their accomplishments and they will be supportive in return. Google yourself and dig deep into the results. Try and get any negative information deleted, as it can affect you in all your pursuits.
3- Look professional to your co-workers and clients
If you have started a side business selling products, resist the temptation to try and sell them to your co-workers or clients. It might make them feel uncomfortable, and if word gets to your superiors that you are trying to make extra money at the office, it can be detrimental to your main source of income. You might make an exception if it is something crafty like jewellery however keeping your worlds separate is a safe bet.
If you learn a new skill with your side business that might be an asset to your career, like graphic design, writing, or skills in a trade, letting your employer know that you have new skills to offer them that you learned in your own time can be a good idea if handled with diplomacy.
4- Impress your family and friends
An alternate source of income can be a great thing, however if you alienate yourself from your spouse, your children, and friends you might want to re-evaluate your options. If there are ways of leveraging your side business as a way to spend time with your loved ones by working with them or getting their input on what you are doing can be an opportunity. Bringing friends and family into the “circle of trust” of your business can help propel you toward your goal.
5- The personal wins from a side business
If your part time business is successful, satisfying and fulfilling, the boost in your confidence and well-being makes the extra work effort worthwhile. That confidence can pay dividends in your professional image. If there are struggles along the way that you can learn from it may help you solve challenges in other parts of your life. Being a part time entrepreneur can be a great opportunity, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your overall happiness.