Consider adding charm to your professional attributes when looking for a new role explains Carole Spiers

We all need to have the skills of our trade or profession. Whether we are the CEO or an office cleaner makes no difference; we all have our role to fulfil in the workplace. You would probably agree that hard work and tenacity are essential elements in success, but would you put ‘charm’ and ‘good looks’ in the same category? Probably not, but they may well help you to climb the career ladder.

I was interested to read a poll from Volunteer Reading Help, a UK children’s literacy charity, of 500 CEOs, managers and executives earning over £70,000 ($100,000) per year. The poll suggests that hard work, looks and charm are routes to the top. It is quite an old survey dating back to 2012, but I do think it is as relevant today as it was all those years ago.

With the economic climate as it is now, some people are choosing to remain where they are rather than seek another job. But, while they remain, the most ambitious will be looking for better job opportunities. Let’s look at some suggestions that may help you to increase your profile and build your professional reputation.

Portray a Positive Image

As we know, image is everything. If your dress appearance is untidy, that is how your work will be seen. Don’t forget we are all salespeople, whether we are pitching ideas to investors or team members or selling a company vision to prospective employees.

Be Disciplined

You may have an entrepreneurial mind – one that is creative, with ideas emanating from it every day. Ensure that you see your ideas through to the end. Don’t keep starting projects and not finishing them. That is a sure way to lose money and reputation.

Build Rapport

Of course, networking is essential to identify opportunities and to beat the competition. Getting people on your side, getting them to believe in you and to share in your passion is the name of the game. People who like you will have faith in you, defend you and want to be with you and to be a part of your success. You need your ‘foot soldiers’ around you, so start recruiting them early. You may not be collecting new best friends, but you need to get people to listen to you, trust you and be a part of your team. You need to give respect to them, and in return you will receive respect back.

Focus

It is very easy to get distracted by emails, phone calls, social networking and the like. The person who gets to the top will be the person who knows how to be firm in refusing to be driven off course, or away from target, by interruptions or offers that prevent or delay them from focusing on the job in hand.

Be Charming

‘Charm’ is a word that is seldom used these days, but I like it, and it is the word with which we started. Charm is the power of pleasing or attracting others through personality or beauty. Now, you may not think that you are beautiful, but beauty comes from within. It can come from a warm smile, a caring thought, or a kind deed. We can all be more courteous and politer than we are, and we all have the ability to rise above those around us. These gestures cost nothing but can bring extraordinary dividends. They give the greatest return on investment that is possible to get, anywhere!

Make Sacrifices

Those who get to the top often make sacrifices along the way. This is a decision they make to climb the career ladder. However, getting to the top takes more than just a ‘pretty face’ and ‘fancy clothes’. There must be an inner strength, commitment and determination because the chances are that when one gets there, one doesn’t want to slide down that ladder again.

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Carole Spiers FISMA, FPSA, MIHPE is the Chair of the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK) and founder of International Stress Awareness Week. She is an acknowledged authority on corporate stress and CEO of the Carole Spiers Group (London ... (Read More)

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