Get a professional head shot. Now.

A crucial element of how we all present ourselves professionally is sporting a professional and good-looking head shot. But too often it’s either forgotten about or taken for granted. If you don’t have a head shot though, you absolutely need to get one. Now. Professional head shots add credibility to your professional presence, with a greater sense of perceived competency to you and your professional background. This will lead to you creating a better first impression. After all, impressions are formed immediately and you need to be aware of how you’re perceived and how you’d want to change that. I’ve mistaken how valuable professional head shots are, before. I was asked for a quote by the National Post once, about why I’ve stayed in Alberta despite being from Toronto. I had a quick phone interview and was asked for a picture of myself, and only had this recent photo of myself to send them. So I sent it to the reporter. And the article was published…with this photo. I was mortified. Yes, I cropped the mehndi out of the pic but still, it was a dumb rookie mistake. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Here’s what I do now, when I’m faced with the same situation: I get a new head shot taken once per year, so that whatever head shot I need to use, is up to date and current. I get professional hair and makeup done with that head shot. Finally, I style my own photoshoot with 2-3 outfit choices. Here are some examples from the most recent shoot I’ve done. Head shots can be used to present yourself when speaking to an organization, or in a fun, lighter client interaction. But each impression that’s made on a client is different, and the impressions you intend to give off to various clients in a variety of settings, should be different. When working with a company, I want to project a professional image, so I wear a jacket. When I want to appeal to individual clients, I’ll use fashion-forward images of myself that are still friendly and approachable, and not intimidating. Different photos should be used for different social media platforms, for the same reason. Why? Because I want to project a slightly different image on each platform to these different audiences. What I share on a more professional site like LinkedIn, is different than what I share on Facebook and Instagram. No matter the situation or platform in which you’re presenting yourself, be prepared with the right head shot at the right time, and it will make a world of difference.

Wide leg pants for (sniff) Fall

This week’s Friday Find is the perfect thing to get you ready for the Fall, as sad as it is to say. These wide-leg cropped crepe pants are exclusive to HBC and on sale right now, and with autumn right around the corner, that means now is the perfect time to pick them up. Even though these pants were available in the summer, they’re a great piece to be carried into the fall, especially if you don’t have to pay the regular price. Though this style is having its moment in fashion right now, it’s a classic look that you can wear to work – and for play – for years to come. How to Wear It: Make sure you wear a heel. It doesn’t have to be a super high heel at all though. A low heel height would work just as well. A fierce pointed ankle bootie would work really well too. This one is majorly on sale. Don’t wear a shapeless blouse on top of these pants, unless you’re slim and very lean. You don’t want to look like a tent. Go with a cropped blouse instead that has a bit of a slimming cut. Add a clutch to your look that is a contrast to the rest of the outfit but still complements it. A print is best. Now, go find these pants. You’ll be happy that you did.  

A Quick Fix for Timeliness

Timeliness in your day-to-day life is simply basic etiquette, and not just in the business world, but in your whole life, as well. When we’re late, we often don’t think about how this effects the people waiting on us. We can worry so much about ourselves and the reasons we didn’t arrive on time, that it doesn’t even occur to us how being late disrespects others, Ensuring you’re timely is all about respecting the time of others. What’s important is to make the time to be on time. Leave a little bit early for where you need to go, give yourself extra time to complete everything you need to do. Often, we’re late because we don’t give ourselves enough time to get from point A to point B. Lots of us rush around our daily lives and responsibilities, and we figure we can make that 10-minute drive in 5, or cut that long walk in half. All of this stems from efforts to squeeze as many things as we can into our days. I know I’m certainly as guilty of doing this as anyone else. And sometimes I, just like anyone else, need to take a step back and prioritize what I’m doing, then give those priorities my full effort and time. Being late can be detrimental to your character, reputation and other aspects of your life. It can tarnish your credibility when you’re known as the one in the office who’s usually late and undependable. You can lose revenue if your late habits catch up to you in your job. You can be passed over for opportunities at work if you’re not trusted. You can miss out on time that could be used to get to know a potential partner or friend. Trust is one of the most important qualities you must maintain in every relationship and partnership you have, both personal and professional. So to remedy these problems, tackle your late habits before they happen! Schedule time to travel in your daily schedule, and put that time in your calendar. Set reminders for yourself about where you need to be and when, each day. Most of all, practice these new actions so they become new habits for yourself. I’ll admit (as few do) that I’ve been late before. Did I do it on purpose? No. No one does. But it happens sometimes, and it’s important to stay on top of these bad habits to turn them around. It’ll take some time to develop a better habit, but it will make all the difference. Trust me. The new ways you’ll be able to gain new business and develop new relationships will prove to be much more valuable when you use your time to ensure you’re on time for everything you commit to doing.